Monthly Archives: June 2021

Why the world’s most fertile fishing ground is facing a ‘unique and dire’ threat

Since long before the steel-hulled fishing boats from foreign countries arrived in the South Pacific its people have had their own systems for sharing the ocean’s catches. In the New Zealand territory of Tokelau, in the middle of the region, the 1,400 people living on its three atolls practise a system called inati, which ensures […]

Philippine president spars with Pacquiao over South China Sea

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has stoked a feud with boxer Manny Pacquiao by criticising his “shallow” foreign policy knowledge, after the senator and eight-division champion said he found the leader’s stand on the South China Sea was “lacking”. In a late night interview with SMNI news channel on Tuesday, Duterte said Pacquiao, a senator and […]

Philippines again suspends scrapping of VFA troop pact with US, amid South China Sea tensions, Covid-19 vaccine donations

The Philippines has for the third time suspended a decision to scrap a two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, its foreign minister said on Monday, amid a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said the suspension would be for a further six months while President […]

Sui Generis

Rule of law matters by Marites VitugShare Hello reader, China has three science research laboratories in the West Philippine Sea. This is a big deal. But this fact hasn’t caught as much attention as the hundreds of ships that have recently swarmed Julian Felipe Reef as well as Pag-asa in 2020. It’s because the might […]

Listen and respond to the clamor of the Filipinos to defend their sovereign rights and entitlements in the West Philippines Sea (WPS).

In a published statement, the Maritime Law Association of the Philippines (MARLAWPh) called on national leaders to capitalize on the landmark Arbitral Award and to undertake a focused, determined and unwavering defense of our maritime jurisdiction and entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). I was the 2016 MARLAW president when […]

Pacquiao Emerges as Obstacle to Duterte’s Succession Plans

Boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao is emerging as an obstacle to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s succession plans when his single six-year term ends next year. Pacquiao, a loyal ally to Duterte since his shock election win in 2016, has rankled loyalists to the strongman leader since becoming acting head of the president’s ruling PDP-Laban party in December. […]

China ‘remiss’ in its UNCLOS obligations, says PH envoy to Asean

Deputy Permanent Representative Elizabeth Te of the Philippines Mission to Asean said during her Commission on Appointments. MANILA, Philippines — China has been “remiss” in its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Filipino envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) said as the Philippines protests […]

The role of maps in territorial disputes

Are maps relevant in territorial disputes over ownership of tiny islands in the South China Sea? The question arises because maps are usually drawn unilaterally by one state. This raises the issue of whether such maps showing islands as part of the territory of the state drawing the map can bind another state which also […]