Ex-associate justice seeks world opinion vs. China

As China again did violence against Philippine boats and soldiers Monday, former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio enjoined all to drag China into the bar of world opinion in a Finex meeting last week.

He said the 2016 Hague Ruling has resolved the "maritime dispute" between China and the Philippines. However, the "territorial dispute" remains at a stalemate as China does not recognize international arbitration, and therefore, in China's probable absence as a claimant in the hearings, no judgment can be made.

Thus, Carpio enjoined the Philippine government to officially tell the world that its refusal to participate shows China's lack of respect for international law and order.

He believes that China, a giant sovereign dealer in world trade and investments, wants respect in that they want to be pictured as honoring business disputes before objective arbiters. Many believe China is -at its core- a business entity- and direly needs its sustained financial strength to bolster its military and political influence.

Many believe that an official Philippine government statement denouncing China's indifference to calls for independent court ruling, using our educational system to enlighten people, and 118 million Filipinos figuratively using Tik-Tok to a deafening roar to condemn China's lack of respect for other's sovereign rights might soften the colossal powerhouse.

Carpio suggests dragging China into a forum where " arms do not matter."


Not even China wants war. China is fearful of an end-scenario nuclear confrontation with America as it has only about 450 nuclear warheads against the 5,000 of America. In a full-scale nuclear war, China's 1.4 billion people and land will be easily obliterated.

Even Pulitzer winner and defense news specialist Manny Mogato says it is in China's plans to pursue a "gray zone" battle of intimidation and harassment and win the war without firing a single shot (and avoid the Red Zone, which can agitate other nations).

Thus, while many Filipinos are angered by the lack of a more aggressive Philippine response to China's bullying, the Philippine military is cautioned not " to fire the first shot" against China to keep international opinion on our side by not escalating the conflict militarily.


Save for the Malampaya oil drills, the Philippines is fully dependent on foreign supplies gas, and energy needs - exposing our lack of oil security. Malampaya currently supplies 40 percent of Luzon's power needs, but the reserves are dwindling. 

Without Malampaya source- power rates in Luzon will scale up by 50 percent- an untenable position for both consumers and business Carpio says the Philippines has (no choice) but to go out into the oceans to survey and drill for fresh gas and oil supply.

Previously, the US military published about the enormous wealth of oil mines under the disputed oceans. It is about time we search for oil, but how when even mere fishermen are shooed away by foul-mouthed Chinese militiamen?

But Carpio pointed out that Malaysia and Indonesia were able to successfully carry out surveys and initial drillings in the disputed seas with the enabling presence of American warships in the vicinity- keeping out Chinese interference. The Philippines can do the same, and why not- given the threat of a Malampaya dry-out?


China's main claim is that the Spratly Islands are not included in the definition under the Philippine Constitution. 

China's first and last official claim to these disputed isles was only in 1947, and it arbitrarily published its nine-dash line theory unilaterally, claiming Chinese ownership without valid historical validation.

On the other hand, the Philippines’ claim is solidified by three official treaties, namely, the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the 1990 Treaty of Washington, and the 1930 Treaty between America and the United Kingdom.

Spain ceded the colonized  Philippines to America in the Treaty of Paris defining the ownership by lines across the oceans and was subsequently amended by the Treaty of Washington embracing isles above the lines defined by the previous treaty.  The Treaty with the UK virtually then affirmed the conditions contained in the previous two treaties in the year 1930.


International law precedence, (i.e. Norway vs. Denmark dispute), cites that the "critical date in international disputes" is the date when   ALL opposing claims are crystallized. Thus, the "critical date: in our case is 1947, when China, the last claimant, made its first official claims. The international court has ruled that " any activities to enhance claims after the critical date has no relevance to the value to the resolution of disputes".

Thus, China's putting of man-made islands, in a finder-keepers kind of way, does not hold water.

Furthermore, official maps in Spain like the 1734 Murillo Velarde Map and reiterated in minor revisions in the 1808 and 1875 published editions that indeed the Spratly's Scarborough Shoal belongs to the Philippines.

Carpio concludes that based on three internationally recognized treaties, the last existing maps in Spain when the Philippines was still a colony, and the use of the precedent "critical date" as part of the rules in arbitration, make it abundantly clear that the disputed islands belong to the Philippines.

On the other hand, China's aggressive, repulsive maneuvers in the disputed seas are only buttressed by an arbitrary Nine-Dash rule of their own making that has been upturned in international judgment by the Hague in 2016.

(Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial media practitioner and author. He is a Life and Media member of Finex. The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FINEX. [email protected])