Justice Antonio T. Carpio
The Tribunal’s ruling today re-affirms mankind’s faith in the rule of law in peacefully resolving disputes between States and in rejecting the use or threat of force in resolving such disputes. This rule of law is enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The ruling also re-affirms UNCLOS as the Constitution for the oceans of our planet, a treaty ratified by 167 States, including China and the Philippines. The ruling applies the fundamental law of the sea principle that “land dominates the sea,” that is, any claim to maritime zones must emanate from land and can extend only to the limits prescribed under UNCLOS. No state can claim almost an entire sea contrary to this fundamental principle and maritime limits.
The ruling further re-affirms the wisdom of the Philippine Constitution in renouncing war as an instrument of national policy, and in adopting international law as part of the laws of Philippines. The ruling manifests the faithful compliance by the Philippine Government to the Philippine Constitution, which mandates that the “State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its xxx exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”