Palace releases e-book on West Phl Sea history
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Palace communications group has decided to put up in the government portal a historical atlas that will show Filipinos the real story about the country’s ownership of the West Philippine Sea.

“This year, we publish the Historical Atlas of the Republic, the first of its kind: charting the historical, political and economic developments of the Philippines from prehistoric times to the present,” it said, noting that one can “visualize” the country’s history through the electronic book.

“This book is available in an e-book format and is downloadable for free through this URL: https://archive.org/details/historical-atlas-of-the-republic,” the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office stated further.

PCDSPO is headed by Palace Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III.

The agency said the online atlas is in line with their mandate to “preserve and curate the institutional memory” of the Office of the President, and thus it has “stood at the forefront of promoting interest and curiosity about the story of the Filipino people.”

“The Historical Atlas covers landmarks in Philippine history from the first inhabitants of the archipelago, to the subsequent Spanish colonization of the islands, toward the establishment of an independent Philippine Republic, followed by the dictatorial regime and the restoration of Philippine democracy,” an additional post from gov.ph read.

“It is useful for summarizing, visualizing and contextualizing Philippine history through a collection of 44 concise, meticulously researched political, demographic, maritime, military and migration maps,” it said.

“For more related resources, visit the Presidential Museum and Library and Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines websites. Our social media accounts – Facebook and Tumblr – will likewise be promoting the book and its content,” it added.

US not meddling

Malacañang has defended the Philippines’ long-time ally US against accusations the world’s superpower has been interfering in Manila’s maritime dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, saying all it wants is peace and stability in the Asian region. 

“In all that I’ve seen there seems to be no truth to that allegation,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in Filipino in late May over state-run dzRB radio.  

He said the US, like most other nations in the world, believes in the principle of freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight.

Beijing had condemned Washington’s interference, particularly in the case that the government of President Aquino filed before the International Arbitral Tribunal at The Hague questioning China’s encroachment of Philippine waters in its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

From government’s perspective, and from all the regional and international meetings they have attended, including the US-ASEAN summit held in California last February, the only thing that the US wants is the observance of a rules-based approach in resolving the row.

Coloma said it all boils down to respect for the rule of law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, regarding the South China Sea dispute.

China to face int’l humiliation on ADIZ

If China continues to play hardball and proceeds to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea to solidify its claim to the entire disputed region, it will be facing international humiliation as this move will be outright ignored by the community of nations, a US-based defense and military think tank said.

Gregory Poling, director of Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said Beijing, being a rising power, must recognize that all its actions advancing its maritime and territorial claim in the South China are mostly against international law and international norms.  – With Jaime Laude

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