As this developed, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said yesterday its personnel spotted a Chinese naval vessel outside the vicinity of Panatag Shoal in Zambales, aside from Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ships during monitoring from June 6 to 9.
Michael Varcas
Carpio pushes ‘truth movement’ on South China Sea
Evelyn Macairan, Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The most senior magistrate of the Supreme Court (SC) has called for a “truth movement” to correct what he described as propaganda in Philippine media pushing for China’s fake historical claims on the disputed South China Sea.

As this developed, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said yesterday its personnel spotted a Chinese naval vessel outside the vicinity of Panatag Shoal in Zambales, aside from Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ships during monitoring from June 6 to 9.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio asked Filipino communicators to use their freedom of expression and the power of social media “to expose to the world, and to the Chinese people themselves, the falsity of the historical claim of the Chinese government to the South China Sea,” particularly China’s nine-dash- line claim.

“We can invite the peoples of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, countries whose exclusive economic zones are also encroached by China’s nine-dash line, to join us in this movement,” Carpio said in a speech before this year’s graduates of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication last Friday.

Carpio cited the need to counter Chinese propagandists and trolls that “spread with impunity fake history and fake news within our country” as they “operate freely in Philippine social media, comment freely in Philippine online newspapers and even take out political advertisements in Philippine newspapers.”

He specifically pointed to the belief of the Chinese when the communists took over their government in 1949 that China owned the South China Sea since 2,000 years ago, which has already been debunked by historical records.

Carpio said this false history is taught to the Chinese in their schools and is believed by every Chinese general, admiral, Politburo member, diplomat, government bureaucrat and every ordinary Chinese citizen.

He expressed belief that this is also one of the reasons why the Chinese government has refused to recognize the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that rejected their nine-dash line claim.

“This true history is clear, obvious and simple: China never owned the South China Sea in the past, and there are high seas in the South China Sea that belong to all mankind, as there are exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea that belong solely to the adjacent coastal states,” Carpio pointed out.

The SC magistrate lamented that while Philippine democracy allows such Chinese propaganda in the country, Filipinos cannot do the same in China to correct such false historical claims due to the “Great Firewall of China” that prevents the Chinese people from accessing foreign social media websites.

Because of this disparity, Carpio said the proposed information campaign should target over 100 million Chinese people who travel outside China every year.

“Like all the other peoples of the world, the Chinese people are inherently good people. They have, however, been taught by their government only one historical narrative that happens to be totally false. I am sure that once informed of the true history of the South China Sea, and confronted with their own historical maps and official records, the Chinese people will accept the truth about the South China Sea,” he noted.

“These Chinese tourists will eventually spread the truth about the South China Sea to their compatriots at home. And the truth will set the Chinese people on a reconciliation path with the peoples of the ASEAN coastal states, and with the peoples of the rest of the world,” Carpio stressed.

Carpio said it is important for Filipino communicators to start the campaign now even if the Duterte administration “refuses to assert the arbitral ruling,” adding that “the truth will secure forever our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, to be enjoyed by generations of Filipinos to come.”

ANTONIO CARPIO SOUTH CHINA SEA
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