Opening Remarks of Atty. ELma Christine Leogardo, President, Institute for Maritime and Ocean Affairs

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Good afternoon, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The Institute for Maritime & Ocean Affairs, or IMOA, is very proud to launch this unique and timely Map Exhibit, September being Maritime Month.

We wish to thank Justice Antonio T. Carpio for giving us the privilege to mount this map exhibit based on his own research to debunk China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea allegedly based on “historical facts”. We would also like to thank our co-presenters, the De La Salle University and the Maritime Law Association of the Philippines (MARLAW), as well as the individual volunteers who made this project possible.

We wish to announce that a collateral Forum is also being organized by MARLAW, which will be held here in De La Salle next Friday, September 19, at the Yuchengco Hall.

Through this cartographic exhibit and Forum, we hope to engage the De La Salle University community (from various disciplines like History, Political Science, Law and International Studies) in the discussion of the rights and interests of every Filipino in the ongoing dispute on the West Philippine Sea.

We hope you will incorporate or use this map exhibit as a springboard in your class discussions and actively participate in the Forum. The faculty could likewise encourage the submission of research and reaction papers on the subject, which we can publish in the IMOA website.

We invite everyone to visit our website www.imoa.ph for the latest news and articles about the South China Sea dispute from reputable local and international news agencies, the full text of the UNCLOS and other relevant laws, and an interactive gallery that allows visitors to explore maps in high resolution, among others.

We hope you all enjoy the map exhibit. Thank you.

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