Speaking before members of the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff in the House of Representatives, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio discussed that the Philippines first named the Spratly Islands, as well as the Scarborough Shoal, as early as 1734.
Speaking before members of the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff in the House of Representatives, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio discussed that the Philippines first named the Spratly Islands, as well as the Scarborough Shoal, as early as 1734.
Philippines named Spratlys, Scarborough centuries ahead of China — Carpio
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - November 26, 2018 - 2:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines was way ahead of China in claiming the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday.

During a forum at the House of Representatives, Carpio said the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal were already included in the Philippine national territory as early as 1734.

"In this (Murillo-Velarde) map, he included in Philippine national territory Scarborough Shoal but called it 'Panakot' because before 1734, that shoal was never given a name in any map," Carpio said.

He was referring to the "mother map" that Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde made upon the order of Spanish King Phillip, through Governor-General Fernando Tamon, to make an official map of the Philippine territory at the time.

The acting chief justice added that the traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales was only given an English name when a British ship called "Scarborough" ran aground on the rocks of the shoal.

European cartographers renamed the feature Scarborough Shoal, which is now called Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, but the Filipinos were the first ones to give it a Tagalog name.

"There is no older map from China or from Vietnam showing that Scarborough Shoal was their territory. Nothing at all, they don't have any document," Carpio said.

China, on the other hand, first claimed the Spratlys in 1947, more than 200 years later than the Philippines.

Before that, old Chinese maps indicated that the southernmost part of their territory is Hainan, the province the now maintains jurisdiction over the South China Sea.

"So 1947, China claimed the Spratlys but acknowledged that it is also claimed by the Philippines and by the French Indochina. They did not claim indisputable sovereignty," Carpio said.

For Scarborough Shoal, China just copied the British maps and gave them transliterations of English names, the acting Chief Justice added.

"Scarborough is here. They did not have a name, they didn't know Scarborough Shoal. They just copied the maps of the British and they gave names," he said.

Carpio also noted that the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal were included in Philippine territory under the 1900 Treaty of Washington. It was a treaty between Spain and the United States for the cession of outlying islands of the Philippines.

Beijing has refused to acknowledge the July 2016 ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal that invalidated its nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. The country insists that it has indisputable sovereignty over the region.

In recent months, China has installed surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming equipment on its artificial islands in the Spratlys. A recent report from GMA News' "Reporter's Notebook" also showed that Chinese Coast Guard personnel drove the news team away and required them to seek China's permission before conducting interviews in the area.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 21, 2019 - 8:36pm

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

March 21, 2019 - 8:36pm

President Duterte says concerned Filipinos may file a case against China before the International Criminal Court, adding that he thinks it will not affect Manila ties with Beijing. 

"No, I’m sure they don't, the Philippines is a democratic country anybody can bring a suit against anybody." — with Christina Mendez

March 21, 2019 - 5:00pm

Here's a look at the communication sent to the ICC.

March 21, 2019 - 4:28pm

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed a communication to the International Criminal Court on March 15 against Chinese President Xi Jinping for crimes against humanity due to damage to the environment in South China Sea, reports say.

March 7, 2019 - 8:15am

Rep. Ariel Casilao (Anapkawis party-list) scores what he calls "rubbernecking" by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in response to reports that Filipino fisherfolk are being harassed near Pag-Asa Island, which is part of Palawan province.

"It was reported in the news on Monday, and two days later, issues are still for validation, amid all the resources and intelligence funding, the Filipino taxpayers are deprived of much-needed and significant information," he says in a press statement.

The AFP's Western Command has said there have been no reports of fishers being harassed in the area amid a report by Kalayaan Mayor Robert del Mundo that Filipinos are being kept from fishing around Sandy Cay.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has directed the military to validate the reports but the Department of National Defense has also said in a statement that "it has to be noted that the area referred to by Mayor del Mundo is a traditional fishing ground for the Philippines and other countries, including China and Vietnam."

November 26, 2018 - 10:54am

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is addressing the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff at the House of Representatives to talk about issues related to the South China Sea. He has been making rounds in the forum circuit across the country to talk about the legal repercussions of China's overreaching claims in the maritime region.

Carpio, who is in the running for the chief justice post, argues that China committed its last territorial act against the Philippines in seizing Sandy Cay in the West Philippine Sea.

China is also expanding its legally invalid nine-dash line claim, possibly to encompass Benham Rise, an expansive underwater plateau east of the Philippines' landmass. (Stock photo)

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