SAN FRANCISCO–A cartographic exhibit based on the June lecture of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio at the Institute for Maritime and Ocean Affairs, Philippines, opened October 13 at the Philippine Consulate here.
Justice Carpio cut the ceremonial ribbon together with Ambassador Jose Luis Cuisia, his wife, Maria Victoria, Mrs. Ruth Carpio, Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. and his wife Mrs. Mariza Bensurto.
A lecture followed, with Justice Carpio speaking on the “Historical Truths and Lies” about sovereign rights over existing shoals, islands, islets and rocks in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea. He based his conclusions from maps done by cartographers as far back as 1136 A.D.
However, Carpio made the disclaimer that his “views in this presentation are the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Philippine Government.”
The Q&A that followed included Cuisia and Bensurto, the Philippines’ lead legal counsel on the maritime dispute between with China.
Carpio said, “Historical facts are not relevant in determining present-day maritime claims. However, even if we take into account historical facts, China’s claims are still without basis. Ancient maps of China made by Chinese authorities, Chinese individuals or foreigners, and ancient maps of the Philippines made by Westerners, Philippine authorities or individuals, vividly contradict China’s claims in the South China Sea.”