Since our alleged conflict with China began in 2014, never has the Philippines presented any evidence in support of our claim to South China Sea.
All we are saying is that South China Sea is part of our territory based on geographical location. We have not done anything to present evidence in support of our claim.
There are three reasons why the unanimous decision of the Permanent Arbitration Court (PAC) is favorable to the Philippines.
First, China refused to participate, and claimed PAC’s lack of jurisdiction to decide the issue.
Second, the Philippines filed a petition without the consent of China.
Third, the PAC is not part of the UN agency, and, as a principle, no state can be sued without its consent.
China has every right to ignore our petition for lack of jurisdiction.
The decision of the PAC is more of the fact that the Philippines presented no evidence in support of its claim.
This explains why China to this day insists that our citation of the PAC’s decision rendered on July 12, 2016 has not been enforced, and neither has it the mechanism to enforce its rules, notwithstanding that the Philippines refused to submit evidence in support of the country’s claim of a large area in the South China Sea.
Instead, we failed and/or ignored to present the Treaty of Paris that was signed on December 10, 1898 which provision virtually defined the limits and extend the country’s archipelago under Article III of the treaty, to quote:
“Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line:
“A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degrees meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degree and forty five minutes (4°45′) north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4°45′) north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119°35′) east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119°35′) east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7°40′) north, thence along the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7°40′) north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.
“The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.”
Any provision not specifically stated in the Treaty after the ratification is assumed not included in this agreement.
But in this case, the Philippines intentionally did not submit this piece of evidence probably because it would expose the falsity of our claim to an area outside of Article II of the Treaty.
Yet, we insist we have evidence in support of our claim which is rather not specific but an inchoate claim over an area which the Philippines could not exactly point its location, except to state that this area is ours.
Those islets signed in the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 constitute our territories.
An area located outside of that demarcated boundary is presumed outside of our jurisdiction. This now becomes crucial to our claim in the South China Sea.
For all the US braggadocio of coming to our defense in the event of conflict with China, the US has refused to express their support to our claim in the disputed area in the South China Sea.
As far as the US is concerned, it can only cite that provision in the Treaty it signed on December 10, 1898.
Many are asking why the US has remained silent or has failed to clarify its position with regard to the disputed boundaries in the South China Sea.
The US, being a signatory to the Treaty of Paris, should come forward and clarify the issue with the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan, it having an obligation to explain this matter instead of urging the Philippines to enter into an alliance with them against China.
There is no unsettling issue that currently divides the Philippines and China nor there is an urgent necessity for the Philippines to enter into duplicitous military alliance with the US like our signing of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Enhanced Dense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and demand for the expansion of its military bases here including the possible return of its naval bases.
All these were signed by us in anticipation of possible conflict with China.
The US has conditioned the mind of our people about the possibility of a conflict with China.
US policy makers insist in referring to our past historical ties to bolster such alliance.
This now appears that this country is the one seeking an alliance with the US, and not the other way around, thereby making the country forever beholden to the US.
This now serves to bolster the bargaining leverage of the US for the stay of their bases in our country.
This gives that pro-American quisling the reason that it was the Philippines that instigated the US to come to our defense.
The US never raised a voice that the US was a signatory to that Treaty indicating the exact latitude and longitude that would now comprise the Philippine archipelago they grabbed from Spain, and even paid 20 million dollars for their occupation of the islands through sale and not by imperialistic domination.
They occupied the country for more than 50 years and placed its people under tutelage called “commonwealth” and not a single protest was heard from them about the inequities in the boundaries it signed with Spain, with China now emerging as a power to reckon with in this part of the globe.
All that China did was to define and assert what historically belongs to it.
If there appears to be inequities in the treaty because our westward boundaries were too close to our border that they practically removed the boundary line of 12-mile limit extension under international law.
Nonetheless, the US as signatory to the treaty has not done anything to protest this matter and continue to insinuate that China is encroaching into our territory in the South China Sea.
The only revision to the Treaty of Paris which the US made was to assure the British of a passageway for its ships passing to Australia from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and to the British colony in Malaysia.
Many believe that the revision to the treaty was instigated by the British to secure their free passage in the Sibutu Strait.
Thus, the existing treaty and/or alliances we later entered into with the US today dates back to the issue of the Cold war in the ˊ50s that give more leeway for the US to reassert its dominance in the region.
The prepositioning of the US forces is already an advantage application of their “rules-based” principle against China or against any other power in the area.
The so-called “Freedom Land” in the Spratly islands discovered by Tomas Cloma in the ˊ50s actually remains a part of China, mistakenly claimed to have been discovered by him only to appropriate the islets as Cloma’s private dominion.
To recall, our claim in the South China Sea was filed by an American citizen who was appointed by the Noynoy Aquino government as our secretary of foreign affairs.
Yet, never in any of the proceedings did this government request the US to clarify its position like raising our claim of ownership in the South China Sea.
The US has interest in securing and protecting our interest in the South China Sea, a boundary that the US bequeathed to the Philippines similar to its defense of NATO against Russian aggression.
Political analysts believe that BBM is likely to continue the country’s friendly ties with the US.
But what friendly ties have the Philippines to cherish when it was the US that broke many of its promises by including the destruction of our democracy?
They even went to the extent of concocting for us the necessity that it is this country that seeks an alliance to thwart the anticipated aggression likely to be initiated by China.
But historical betrayal and treachery are things that people would seldom forget.