Comments on the Philippine case before ITLOS and Arbitral Tribunal



NDFP Chief Political Consultant

04 April 2014

In a previous interview, I said that the strongest piece of international law in favor of the Philippines is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), particularly with regard to the 200 mile exclusive economic zone. I even challenged the Manila government to file a case in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

By manifestations through writing and mass actions, the patriotic and progressive forces have stood for Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity over the islands or islets in question in the sea west of the Philippines on the basis of UNCLOS and other international instruments. This is not the first time that their position has concurred with that of the Philippine reactionary government on a territorial issue, as in the case of Sabah.

It is better than not for the Philippines to file the case before ITLOS and in particular the Arbitral Tribunal as the chosen mechanism for arbitration regarding the islands or islets west of the Philippines. When the revolutionary government gains the personality to make representations for the Philippines in the community of states, it will certainly take responsibility for asserting territorial integrity.

The Chinese government of today invokes the position of previous Chinese governments as far back as the feudal dynasties in the same manner as the irredentist Mussolini of Italy invoked the scope of the ancient Roman empire to claim territories. The Chinese government also argues that certain territories are owned by a country no matter how far those are and closer to other countries. But it should also mention that such territories are usually habitated by nationals of the owning country (e.g. British territories closer to Germany and France than to the UK), or occupied through colonization (e.g. Malvinas island and all previous British colonies).

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