Two Filipino diplomats and patriots, men of law, and peace, and determination. Let history so record.

Two great men of law

97 Responses to “Two Filipino diplomats and patriots, men of law, and peace, and determination. Let history so record.”
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Thank you, gentlemen of law and decency. Yes, men of courage and conviction. The Philippines belong to Filipinos. Let that be loud and clear, all the way to Malacañang Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

  2. To the men and women of our ITLOS case. To the President whose legacy like that of President Quezon standing in front of the world stage and representing us well. We are a nation of heroes and to we were lead by one. Let it be said that when faced with a behemoth he stood his ground and declared is our world not a world of law and order.

    Salute to the former President, the former Secretary, the jet setting SC justice Carpio who I tend to disagree with about 40% of the time, the solicitor general whose CV’s luster was only eclipsed by his actual legal opinions, our legal team the 5 lawyers who represented us, and all the unsung heroes of the DFA, DOJ, Sol Gen’s office you were already heroes before today. May you never live below this sacred state.

  3. edgar lores says:

    Let not the Duterte administration cast aside the immense gain the Aquino administration has won for the country… without a shot being fired.

    The Filipino people thank President Benigno Aquino III, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and all those who toiled to present the Philippine case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

    The Filipino people thank the Permanent Court of Arbitration for upholding international law, and delivering this landmark and seamark ruling that recognizes certain portions of the West Philippine Sea are within the exclusive economic domain of the Republic of the Philippines.

    Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

    • LG says:


      Now we pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon our officials for DIvine Guidance.

    • Lut Locorriere says:

      Yes! We never forget what they did for our country [previous administration]. But the point is: How could we and the rest of our children, grandchildren get to enjoy all these when more than half of the Filipino citizens are into drugs? Is there happiness and peacefulness? Thank you and Godspeed!

  4. Bill in Oz says:

    This decision is a good one. And it affects not just the Philippines. The decision also is a victory for Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam & Indonesia as each of these countries now has a defined exclusive economic zone.

    China’s dotted line claim to ownership is thrown in the trashcan completely.

    Check out the BBC report and have a good close look at the map as determined by the UNCLOS.

  5. The dragon has been humiliated again…Now the world watches more intently…China’s continued insistence on their fabricated and ‘officially’ flawed claims with regards to the WPS will be met with international scowls and repugnance…It is now up to the new administration to capitalize on this new diplomatic, legal and moral victory.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      It is important now that the Philippines government work & collaborate with Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia & Vietnam to establish forever their exclusive economic zones and sovereign sea areas…If they all work together even the big great powerful China will have to bugger off eventually.

      BTW : That means building a decent navy & air force.

      Off course if the Philippines decides to go it alone, then it could all become meaningless.

      • bill, here’s Sec. Kerry’s press release,

        “In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions. This decision can and should serve as a new opportunity to renew efforts to address maritime disputes peacefully.

        We encourage claimants to clarify their maritime claims in accordance with international law — as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention — and to work together to manage and resolve their disputes.”

        I think the important thing here is to keep in mind that this was basically a win by de fault for the Philippines… China refused to partake.

        When it comes to the UN and powerful nations vs. weaker nations, especially ones sponsored by powerful nations, the UN’s but a symbolic force,

        IMHO, though UNCLOS decision is something to celebrate, the hard fact is that China’s stance on this matter (especially its refusal to participate) trumps all— and judging from Kerry’s tepid press release… I’d say Sec Yasay is probably onto something.

        Like I said before on here, don’t militarize any further, instead of a fancy Navy or Air Force, the Philippine is better served by a fleet of small riverine type boats… because China’s response since refusing the tribunal has been to encourage its fishermen to ply the local waters.

        it’s not a big ship against big ship situation, but more a swarm on swarm— and I’m pretty sure the Philippine Navy/Coast Guard doesn’t have enough small fast boats to play this sea tag/hide&seek game.

      • chempo says:

        @ Bill

        “Philippines government work & collaborate with Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia & Vietnam to establish forever their exclusive economic zones and sovereign sea areas”

        The term “exclusive economic zone” has legal and constitutional implications. It does not mean the maritime zone belong to Philippines. It means the economic interest in that zone belong exclusively to Philippines. Under the constitution, Philippines cannot collaborate with another country in pursuit of economic activities there. Doing so means loosing the ‘exclusivity’. That’s the law. That means a country-to-country cooperation pact is absolutely out of the question. This is a simple and plain fact that is lost on Du30 and Yassay.

        However, that does not preclude Philippines govt from engaging the contractual services of corporate entities to perfom economic activities there.

        This goes back to our discussion on parliamentary form of govt. A shadow DFA minister would have studied everything, would have set down with Rosario and Justice Carpio way back, and would have understood every issue and angle the moment they report for their first day at work in the new cabinet.

        • Joe America says:

          Nicely summarized. I believe the seas between 12(?) and 200 nautical miles are international waters, so ships from any nation can sail there, but none can fish or extract minerals without Philippine permission. I think there is also a matter that has not been discussed so far, if the Philippines does not ENFORCE its rights, it may end up abandoning them to nations that assume the position akin to squatters claiming rights on ‘abandoned’ turf.

          So it seems to me the Philippines would be negligent if it did not take certifiable acts to impel China to leave, or did not try to eliminate poaching. The PH does not have to shoot to get China to leave, but needs to make its rights known, and to let China know it will bear punishment in the courts if there is continuing occupation and damage to Philippine economic resources. This attempt to “impel” does not have to happen immediately, but I would think should within two years.

          We need an attorney to guide us on this. It is fascinating stuff.

    • chempo says:

      @ Elmer Jucutan
      “The dragon has been humiliated again…”

      This is precisely the thing one must never do. In victory — humility. Especially in such a context. The whole of Portugal celebrated for their victory in the European soccer championships…that’s OK. The whole of Philippines were subdued in the legal victory over China. I must congratulate Filipinos for remaining calm and cool. It such national conflicts, ‘loss of face’ is a damn big issue. It’s not purely ego, but managing the expectations, frustrations and anger of electorates. There is a political price if not managed well. Thus Chinese leaders must be given the time and space for them to downplay the loss to their countrymen without seeming loss of face. This may take years, particularly as they had driven up their propaganda nationally over the years. Any post-ruling approach to the Chinese must take this into consideration.

      From here on, diplomacy is even more crucial. Beating of war drums or the chests will be counter-productive.

      • Andres IV says:

        Im with you, wise sire. In victory, humility. Some criticize Yasay of “not celebrating the victory” but in my opinion, he is doing the right thing – waiting.

  6. Bill in Oz says:

    Some quotes from the ruling as found on the Guardian report

    “The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.”

    None of the fiercely disputed Spratly Islands, the UN body found, were “capable of generating extended maritime zones … [and] having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the tribunal found that it could — without delimiting a boundary — declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China.”

    The tribunal “found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone. The tribunal also held that fishermen from the Philippines (like those from China) had traditional fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal and that China had interfered with these rights in restricting access. The tribunal further held that Chinese law enforcement vessels had unlawfully created a serious risk of collision when they physically obstructed Philippine vessels.”

    It also condemned China’s land reclamation projects and its construction of artificial islands at seven features in the Spratly Islands, concluding that it had caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species”.

    China’s land reclamation “was incompatible with the obligations on a state during dispute resolution proceedings”, it added, since it involved causing “irreparable harm to the marine environment”, building a “large artificial island in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone”, and destroying “evidence of the natural condition of features in the South China Sea that formed part of the parties’ dispute”.

    Paul Reichler, of the law firm Foley Hoag LLP, who who coordinated the Philippines’ legal team, said: “The tribunal’s ruling not only benefits the Philippines, it also benefits other states bordering the South China Sea like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. If China’s nine-dash line is invalid as to the Philippines, it is equally invalid to those states and, indeed, the rest of the international community.”

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Now we have shown that right is might.Time to talk to China.If they still will be stiff, ley us ask others to convince them to adhere to the ruling.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Karl, the important thing is that China has isolated itself internationally. They have been trying for force the international community to accept their ‘rules’..

      And now discovered via an international tribunal that literally nobody agrees.

      This allows the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia Brunei & Vietnamese navies to legally escort out any Chinese vessels operating in their EEZ.And it allows these countries to ask for help in that process from the navies of other countries, like the USA.

      Oh dear, how embaresing ! Such loss of face !

      • “to legally escort out any Chinese vessels “


        And what happens if China refuses?

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Then it is up to the Philippines government to assess the situation; to consider it’s options which are to attempt to do alone with minimum force or with allies…

          That is why it is important to see the other nations that are party to this ruling as ALLIES : Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei & Malaysia. Now a week or so ago the Indonesian navy siezed a Chinese fishing boat in it’s EEZ… China didn’t like it.Tough titties…

      • LG says:

        Makapal ang mukha😡😡😡 ni Tsina.

  8. Chivas says:


  9. sonny says:

    For the first time, learning of this decision by the international body I feel more than just a swelling in my breast for being Filipino and my country standing for the right for the world to see and witness. Diplomats and patriots at their finest hours, my deepest gratitude!

    • Joe America says:

      I figured the Court would go diplomatic and easy-speak, but not true. They called it straight and the Philippines did not simply win. They demolished on every point, from care of the oceans, to how fishermen are harassed, to territorial rights. BIG win.

  10. madlanglupa says:

    The picture is perfect: men of principle who also have the last laugh.

  11. dbleedingthumb says:

    Though a win for fair minded people, today’s UNCLOS ruling is moot for pinoys:(

    Still other South East Asian nations can be thankful that PNoy had the grit & cojones to bring the case to arbitration regardless of threats from Beijing. The international community can now cite this ruling as a justification to speak about this bullying act of blatant land-grabbing.

    However, for us Pinoys, the next 6 years is probably a foregone conclusion, one decided prior to Duterte’s win — that China will lord it over any island within our EEZ (Emphasis on “our”), or futher (puerto princesa, western samar).

    Why moot? If this article is true, nabenta na tayo sa halaga ng isan tren:( Our rights to an EEZ, our sovereignity, our patrimony, our dried phish from scarborough shoal fishing grounds gone… snuffed out like the lives of the voiceless little men/women denied justice in one man’s shortcut to eradicating drugs.

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog, “thumb”. Maybe the win will inspire some good old fashioned pride in being a Filipino patriot and change the mindset of a lot of people.

  12. “Angola, Liberia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, among others, have also expressed their support for China’s stance since early July, according to Lu.
    Individual countries who are trying to discredit China through the arbitration cannot claim to represent the international community, Lu said.”


    Because an international tribunal does not represent the international community? Really?

    Hmm… But analyzing it deeper, the tribunal is supposedly neutral. They do weigh and decide what is right, however, they do not enforce what is right. So if no other country will stand with us against China: Then we really are just an individual country that tried to discredit this giant. [Which the PH did.]

    But then again, the country had actually shown that we could still somewhat win against it. Because of this, other countries may now grow some balls and start to imitate what the PH did. This can probably be a spark for a chain of events that may in turn bring down this bully.

    But then again AGAIN, there is now a possibility that this chain of events may lead to WW3. Really hoping that it won’t though. =(

    • madlanglupa says:

      > there is now a possibility that this chain of events may lead to WW3.

      It won’t. Their problems will come from internally.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Ahhh yes minor nations, client states of Chjina..The PM of PNG ( a corrupt violent bastard by the name of O’Neil is in Beijing right now seeking money because no one else wants or trusts him..I suspect that O’Neil tenure as pm will be not be much longer.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, China is rather an angry nation right now, I suspect. It’s largely her call, but this win was a statement for peace.

      • jolly cruz says:

        I, too, am elated. But as you say China is super pissed right now. Any show of hubris by the admin or even us citizens may result in a dangerous situation for our OFWs there. The Chinese think very highly of themselves and would not take insult, perceived or real, sitting down, especially from a country that they don’t think highly of.

        Rather than an extreme show of joy which may be interpreted by the Chinese, both the govt and its citizens, as rubbing salt on a wound, I think the Duterte govt is acting in a manner that would be in the best interest of all.

        It is unfortunate that this seeming lack of emotion in our victory is perceived as sadness that we had won the case. I would even hazard a guess that the US State Dept was keeping in touch with the admin to give advice on how to react to this momentous decision.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for the view of mature and unemotional response, jolly. I agree that the response ought not be to rattle sabres, but it for sure ought to be to reinforce the finding, to express appreciation for the work done, to express relief that the Philippine position has been upheld, to speak FOR peace, and to express hope for an ongoing constructive dialogue with China.

          It is not that people are sad, they are wondering why there is no clear and unequivocal expression of support for the finding.

          • jolly cruz says:

            I agree, Mr Joe. What was lacking was how or if they intend to use the award as leverage in bilateral talks with China. I believe this is what most of the people are waiting for. Not extreme outpouring of joy but rather a subdued elation because of a stronger position vis-à-vis negotiations with China. Yasay should propound this scenario instead of sounding like we lost the case.

  13. NHerrera says:

    I feel so good about this. Thank you guys for expressing in very nice words what will be superfluous for me to add. Thanks, too, Joe for the picture of the blog without other words than the title of the blog.

    Right now I will bask in the sunshine of this news. Time enough later for me to assess and comment on the implications, etc, in the context of the difference in the views of the previous compared to the current Administration.

  14. LG says:

    If the PCA has no power nor responsibility to enforce its final RULING on the South China Sea conflict, what is to prevent China from continuing to build in it?.

    • Joe America says:

      It still has a long way to play out. The ruling helps the US promote free sailing and flights through the regions, so if there is conflict, let it play out there. I do know that under President Aquino, Scarborough Shoal was a “red line” that China could not develop, I suspect without physical confrontation, due in the main to military ramifications (sealing off Subic Bay). That red line is likely erased now, but we will have to see how things develop. I suspect the ruling also has fired up the AFP spirit, considering their role in defense of the nation. President Duterte is running against the grain of a lot of people.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Joe….THe USA & the Philipines are allies under signed treaties. Great.

        But It is a pity that the USA has not ratified UNCLOS as well.

        .It’s diplomatic position is just to uphold freedom of navigation.

        China is now thinking well ‘the USA doesn’t recognise UNCLOS.Why should we be bound by it ?

        • Joe America says:

          The US wrote the agreement but has not ratified it, I suspect because of politics that may in turn be due to problems the US has in subscribing to UN control over its affairs, when the UN is generally seen to be run by radical smaller states.

          We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, as China tries to rationalize a program that is irrational from the getgo.

  15. Bill in Oz says:

    Nicolas Rothwell is at Australian Natioanl University and an expert on SEA. Here is what he has just published on the judgement..

    A good paper.

  16. josephivo says:

    The Philippines should thank God too that yesterday there was nowhere a bloody attack or Trump saying something provocative. So they got a lot of international media attention.

    How to keep this attention alive?

  17. PNoy and his team elevated our case to the Hague so we can bolster our claim without firing a gun…that is, peacefully. I hope no war will come out of this. Knowing that Mr. Michael Callis is sympathetic to our cause and as a global citizen, is willing to stay and fight is truly humbling. War deterrence is the name of the game..if China can see that even small as we are, we are not wanting in support from the global superpowers like US, Britain, France, Japan, Australia, even Vietnam and India, hopefully, no war will come about but a peaceful resolution, based on internationally accepted laws. Thank you Michael Callis!

    Michael Callis
    18 hrs

    Hello everyone. I am proud to announce that The Hague has officially declared the Scarborough Shoal the rightful boundary of the Philippines. We Americans will not back down no matter what Duterte says. Since the Philippines military is no match against China in a war time situation, We the United States will be on heavy overwatch on the Shoal now. Since we are the most superior ally to the Philippines, Duterte’s final judgement will be overridden to give up the Shoal in exchange for Chinese projects here in the Philippines. Your sovereignty will not be compromised due to Duterte’s actions. We will stand and fight to make sure the voices of Filipinos will be heard. As an American, I choose to stay and fight.



    • Joe America says:

      Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. You are an example of the disease we face by having a free and open internet, where self-defined moralists fly in stating the truth the rest of us are supposed to subscribe to, without evidence, without argument . . . intended only to strike emotions and warp the ideas of others so that they don’t think rationally. You are a troll, Jimmy, and not even a very good one. For example, you made me laugh.

  20. NHerrera says:

    Raissa’s brother in-law Dr. Robles wrote on the PCA ruling. I posted this at Raissa’s blogsite.

    Raissa, I am very glad about this note of Dr. Robles:

    It is noteworthy that the Award has been adopted unanimously (p. 471 of the Award, p. 493 of the file, paragraph 1203). There is no Separate opinion, in which a judge who agrees with the dispositif could have expressed disagreement with aspects of the reasoning that led to the dispositif. There is no Dissenting Opinion, in which a judge could have expressed disagreement with the conclusions in the dispositif.

    The absence of either a separate opinion or a dissenting opinion, or even a simple declaration, will confer great moral authority on the Award. Such opinions could have been used by China to undermine the reasoning of the conclusions of the Award itself. 

    That is why, among others, China is greatly pissed-off.


    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, NH. As law, it becomes case law for other legal actions to gain compensation from China for damages. Too bad we don’t have an Administration inclined to make the Philippines whole from the theft and damages caused by China to fishermen and her underwater resources. I recall the US was fined a couple of million dollars for shipwreck damage to Tubbataha Reef a while back. How much larger the award should be for the rocks converted to an island by China at huge destruction of the surrounding sea scape, in areas confirmed by law to be under the management of the Philippines.

      • NHerrera says:

        The speed of events in our ship planet earth is careening down a path we can’t much predict. I wonder how China’s recent history will look 50 years hence.

        • Joe America says:

          Interesting you would say that. Josephivo has a blog coming out next Sunday that suggests we look at the WPS incidents in a much bigger, and Chinese, context.

  21. Francis says:

    Half-listening to the UP forum on WPH sea with my family beside me eagerly watching.

    The most striking thing about the whole thing was the way it oozed sincere, honest-to-goodness liberal idealism. That these advocates honestly believed they were not only winning a case for the PH—but making a just and noble contribution to the world.

    The idealism was such that one of speakees proudly de-emphasized the PH’s own Treaty of Paris claims as—on principle—law trumped “historical” claims. If the PH de-emphasized China’s “historical” claims—then it should de-emphasize its own “historical” claims. How idealistic.

    It started to dawn on me—as I was listening—that there was a reason why we were the first and only nation to settle the dispute via international court. That there was a reason why these speakers were proudly articulating that they were bring about a “paradigm shift” and thinking beyond the box that was the usual “multilateral and bilateral” mindset, as it were.

    Because they honestly believed it. They honestly believed that just as citizens had to be held against a higher law—so were nations of citizens bound to a higher law. They didn’t see it—as other ASEAN members probably did—in purely pragmatic terms.

    Not saying though that our hardened and finest diplomats and lawyers weren’t being ma-diskarte. They were—but they were in a way that was concious of their idealism. The difference between a vigilante and a prosecutor as it were. One takes the law into his or her own hands gain justice. The other uses the law to gain justice. One has no faith in the law—and resorts to deals and other informal means. The other has full faith in the law—and uses every letter to defend anx uphold her spirit.

    I must admit—I haven’t been keeping track of WPH Sea issues as much I should have been. Yet, when I was listening, I felt pride. Yes—I will concede that these Filipinos weren’t representative of the general public. They were diplomats. Lawyers. Justices. A part of the elite. The leadership.

    Yet to know that they honestly BELIEVED. This is one of the reasons why I believe the PH isn’t as bad as people say it is. A thriving civil society. A people who can’t be bound. An elite that treats democratic principles as bad Catholics would treat Friday fasting, but as “Catholics” nonetheless. That’s more than what most Third World nations can say.

    • Joe America says:

      Cast that against the flight of the Liberal Party membership to the Duterte band that controls appointments and purses, and it is possible to see that the reason for the cherished application of principle of law was because of one person, in the main, former President Noynoy Aquino, who listened to worldly voices instead of Filipino voices, and always, always stuck to the path of right over political favor, in honor of his mother and father. The greater Filipino crowd, even of intellectuals and social/political leaders, are not so principled and proved quite dense and dumb as to what they had. President Aquino brought a glimmer of first world ideals, but it proved fleeting and false, for lack of enough proud patriots to carry forth the flag. There are a lot of those proud patriots, make no mistake about it. But they have no real force against the masses of uneducated and self-absorbed people.

      • Francis says:

        Either way, that we have come down this far along path is a sign that there are good seeds of republicanism and democracy buried in the soil of PH democracy.

        Much of what’s been happening in the world and here has been quite depressing—but it is things like this that make one smile and believe there is room for those fancy ideals in the world.

        The romantic and optimist in me likes to believe that the PH takes after America (and ergo Britain?) in her path to democracy: slow, unplanned and messy, yes—but when in full blossom, authentic and beautiful. And as I’ve said again and again, that’s more than what many nations of our status (under constant civil war, etc.) have—and that’s something that I’m thankful of 🙂

        Let us be hopeful. Lady Liberty plays the long game in the Pearl of the Orient, me thinks 🙂

    • chempo says:

      I watched the forum too but gave up after 15 mins due to poor signals. It was interesting but the audio kept breaking and the slides were too glaring to display on screen.

      “…we were the first and only nation to settle the dispute via international court.”
      I”m not quite sure if this is correct. Singapore and Malaysia settled their disputes over 3 islands some years back. I don’t know if there were any others before that.

      I applaud Philippines for taking the case to the UN. It is not just Philippines maritime territorial rights, but international freedom of navigation was at stake. Thus Philippines did the whole world a great favour.

      The idealism that you referred to, yes I agree that’s admirable. But I’m just wondering, and I say this not with any intent to tarnish any of those gentlemen who indeed did a great job, whether this great deference to law, was the resort chosen by a weak nation confronted by a behemoth. Had Philippines been equally big and militarily strong as China, what would it’s reaction be in the face of the maritime incursion. I ask this because respect for law has been one of Philippines weakness. This question has relevance in light of the admin’s pronounced intention to pursue the Sabah claims.

      • Francis says:

        Pardon. I’m no expert, but to clarify my points:

        1. To my limited knowledge—we were the only ones to settle in court with regards to the nine-dash line and China; the maritime issue that’s really the elephant in the room. That was what I was referring to as distinct. Which is not to say that multilateral (ASEAN) means, balancing alliances (Vietnam turn towards US) and bilateral deal-making are bad methods, but that we’d resorted to the (relatively) normative (that is—relatively “principled” based versus the pragmatism and moral fluidity of the other method) means of the int’l tribunal was quite special to say the least.

        2. Deference to law was a brave decision, even given our poor circumstances. To put into analogy: we were a poor man in a poor nation who got scammed by a rich and powerful trapo—and instead of settling with the rich trapo and ergo acknowleding our weakness and the weakness of the system—we chose to put faith in the system to hold both parties equal before a common standard.

        3. Why would the PH do something that no other country being bullied by China had done before? Why would the PH stick to a method (int’l law) that would have been a harder path compared to appeasement? Because—and this is what brought a bit of pride into my chest—we were Don Quixote enough to take liberal republican values seriously. Or have been bathed in democracy and republican values so much that we know how to take advantage of ’em when we need to—like some trapos.

        I mean, to give a devil’s advocate view to this—this may have been just an elaborate PR stunt on part of our cunning diplomats. Yet, even assuming this cynical view, that says a lot about the Philippines in itself. That, at the very least, our elite would see “opinion” (in this case, world opinion) as a powerful thing in itself is a sign that our elite have truly ingrained (of course, anyone’s call and skepticism as to what degree) republican and democratic values, somehow. And a sign that we are truly if not the firmest, then among the firmest republics in SEA.

        Anyone’s call whether we’re a proud democracy or slick lawyer-nation used to making the “best” out of rule of law after of this tribunal—but the difference between the two is the difference between a good Catholic and a bad Catholic, the optimist in me supposes.

        Either way, celebrations are in order 🙂

        • chempo says:

          Francis, I accept what you said.
          Singapore-Malaysia case settled at same int’l tribunal. This by way of info only — not contesting anything you said.

  22. Enrique Sanchez says:

    Based on China’s history of hubris and wanton arrogance, as elegantly summed-up by the late 18th century Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci:

    “Because of their ignorance of the size of the earth and the exaggerated opinion they have of themselves, the Chinese are of the opinion that only China among the nations is deserving of admiration. Relative to the grandeur of empire, of public administration and of reputation for learning, they look upon all other people not only as barbarous but as unreasoning animals. To them there is no other place on earth that can boast of a king, of a dynasty, or of culture. The more their pride is inflated by this ignorance, the more humiliated they become when the truth is revealed.”

    …and basely conveyed by PRC netizens who, over the last few days, angrily call Filipinos “monkeys,” “banana sellers,” and “dogs”…

    I have no doubt that when President Duterte’s envoy attempts to launch bilateral negotiations, he will be met with a singular demand along the lines of:

    We are open to resource sharing and possibly building infrastructure for you. But at this cost: You must unconditionally and publicly relinquish the award given by the PCA.

    The PRC, who have a deep victim complex, will aim to humiliate the Philippines.

    If/when President Duterte agrees to this, then it will not only squander the Philippines’ diplomatic progress but will be the first nail in the coffin for this Presidency. Additional nails will come when Marcos is granted an honorable burial and the masses buckle under the humiliation of their State becoming a human rights pariah.

    Given the extreme stance taken by the PRC with regards to the South China Sea, there is now no easy way for the world to extricate itself from this situation. At the moment countries are tip-toeing around China… US’ quiet diplomacy, Yasay’s somber acknowledgements, EU’s silence, ASEAN’s silence… no one wants to upset the dragon. But the dragon views this as weakness, not conciliation. He will be emboldened.

    Apologies for painting such a negative picture, but that’s the reality I see.

    • Joe America says:

      It does not ring negative to me, Enrique, but sober and accurate, and a clear warning that strength and weakness, in Chinese eyes, are different than our own. In saying that, I know that there are some very bright young people in DFA. I wonder if President Duterte and Secretary Yasay have the humility to listen to them.

  23. caliphman says:

    It should be pointed out that the Hague ruling has an impact far beyond the Philippines moral and legal claims over rights to marine resources disputed if not violated by China in seizing control of Scarborough reef as well as other contested Spratley islands.

    The US has a long standing policy of enforcing freedom of navigation rights by international vessels which is even more greatly affected by the UNCLOS ruling. In fact the UNCLOS decision covers the basic principles guiding this policy as the current treaty signed by China and the US in 1982 supercedes the previous UN Law of the Seas under which terms the US used its naval and air forces navigability of waters claimed by other countries as subject to their control.

    Like the recent Hague ruling, it is not about who owns the land or rocks submerged or not which is at issue but what rights and how much of the surrounding water are subject to control based on the UNCLOS treaty. The recent decision concluded that the Scarborough Reefs did not entitle the owner to a 200 mile exclusive use zone and could not serve as a basis for contesting the fact that the seas in and around the reef overlapped the same zone but as measured from the contiguous land mass of the Philippines. More than that, it put into question whether China can impose any restrictions or notice requirements on freedom of navigation which presumably include aircraft overflights near if not over the waters of the reef.

    As laid out in the UNCLOS provisions, any such restriction or notice requirements on navigation may be imposed on waters within a 12 mile and extending in some cases as 24 miles from territory with eligible topographical features. The fact that Scarborough reefs were concluded as ineligible as may be the case even with the other artficial “islands” builtup and militarily defended by the Chinese can be a very ominuous situation that is rarely discussed in the news or serious international forums.

    Depending on how strongly the US decides to enforce its policy and how obstinate China is in defying its tottering legal claim that they own and control most of waters far beyond their mainland, the crucial drama may be a test of wills not between the Philippines and China.

  24. Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro, Jr.
    4 hrs ·

    Gilberto Teodoro wrote:

    ‘The Philippines’ Triumph: Right Over Might’

    “It is precisely the fairness and impartiality of the process chosen by Manila to vent its claims that China objects to”

    “The rest of the world is indispensably embroiled in the Philippine-Chinese dispute, not only because of the issues of freedom of navigation, mineral resources, and other substantive issues but also because of the process taken and its eventual outcome. As such it is in the highest interest of states to convince China to work within the process and to find therein an acceptable means of redress. Only through sincere cooperation and friendly encouragement can this ever be achieved. Yet should states stand idly by and let this momentous occasion lapse, throwing the award in into the proverbial “dustbin,” the world will have lost a valuable opportunity to strengthen the role of institutions and the rule of law by letting the whims of leaders and the caprice of self-righteousness hold sway. Let us hope the world chooses the path of principled peace and stability”…/the-philippines-triumph-right-ove…/

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Source: Two Filipino diplomats and patriots, men of law, and peace, and determination. Let history so record… […]

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