UNCLOS’ regime of islands

In the beginning, the bills delineating the country’s archipelagic baselines, filed in the House of Representatives by Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco and in the Senate by detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV were the same.

Both bills included the Scarborough Shoal in the vicinity of Zambales as part of the baseline and the Kalayaan Island Group in the Spratlys as “regime of islands.” While Cuenco’s bill has evolved into something else and has passed second reading, Trillanes’ bill has remained unacted on.

As a former Philippine Navy officer, Trillanes has a clear grasp about territorial waters (12 nautical miles from baseline); contiguous zones (24 nautical miles); exclusive economic zones (200 nautical miles); continental shelf (200 nautical miles) and extended continental shelf (350 nautical miles).

He also fully understands “regime of islands” as defined by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.

Unlike presidential spokesman Anthony Golez who told similarly clueless reporters “regime of islands” means “a group of islands whose ownership is being contested by the Philippines and other claimant countries.”

An Inquirer report said they asked Golez why Malacañang would support the exclusion of Kalayaan Islands, as well as Scarborough Shoal off Luzon, from the baselines’ law and he replied, “Because if we start claiming that as ours in our own law, what if China would all of a sudden pass a law stating that it’s part of China? How would you think we will react to that? To avert any strain in our diplomatic relations, it’s better to stick to the concept of regime of islands and let the resolution over the contested islands be brought before the proper forum, which is the UN.”

It’s a classic case of the blind regaling the blind.

We suggest that Golez read Article121 of UNCLOS. Included in the “regime of islands” are islands that are naturally formed areas of land, surrounded by water, which are above water at high tide.”

Under the regime of islands doctrine, the islands will generate their own maritime zones. “Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.”

It must be stressed that whether Scarborough and KIG are included in the country’s baseline or not, they remain to be part of Philippine territory based on our historical claims over the islands. It’s similar to the case of Hawaii and Guam. They are not part of the United States’ main baseline but they are part of US territory.

Under Malacañang’s baseline option, both Scarborough and KIG would be considered regime of islands. Trillanes does not agree to the exclusion of Scarborough from the baseline. As explained by the detained senator through his staff, KIG cannot really be included in the country’s baseline under UNCLOS rules but Scarborough can qualify.

He said although including Scarborough would cause a slight departure from the natural configuration of the archipelagic baselines, it would still fall within UNCLOS Article 47 which states that “the length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles, except that up to 3 percent of the total number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may exceed that length, up to a maximum length of 125 nautical miles.”

He said excluding Scarborough, which was the scene of Philippine Navy skirmishes with Chinese forces in 1999, would mean a loss of some 15,000 square nautical miles.

With KIG, it’s a different matter because the two possible base points, Sabina Shoal and Iroquois Reef, that could connect with the main archipelago don’t meet UNCLOS requirements. The other islets which meet UNCLOS requirements are occupied by other claimants.

The House of Representatives has passed HB 3216 which includes both Scarborough and KIG within the baseline. Malacañang has warned that if passed into a law that version would create problems because if we use that to measure our claim for extended continental shelf, the deadline of which would be on May 13, 2009, before the UN, it would be rejected for not being UNCLOS-compliant.

If our claim for extended continental shelf is rejected, that means the international community would also not recognize our jurisdiction over those maritime areas. As Henry Bensurto, secretary general of the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs said, “There would be a lot of foreign ships in those areas. At which point is our Navy going to sink those foreign ships if you don’t have a clear line?”

Cuenco, chairman of the House committee on foreign affairs, said recommitting HB 3216 to committee level after it was passed on second reading would be a violation of House rules. To allow it would set a precedent of violations. He would rather that it be passed as it is, then cure it at the bicameral committee with the Senate version.

March 26, 2008 5:20 am   Posted in: Malaya, South China Sea

50 Responses

  1. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 7:10 am

    Why is that bastard Golez making excuses on behalf of China instead of re-enforcing our claim? But why? Why?

    I don’t understand! What’s wrong with this bastard?

    It’s really quite simple: Follow the blasted UNCLOS guidelines and be done with it.

  2. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 7:22 am

    Seems Japan is weighing in on the question too…

    From J of the Nutbox http://www.thenutbox.i.ph/blogs/thenutbox/
    Spratly accord no cause to relax

    The recent tripartite agreement between China, Vietnam and the Philippines for joint exploration of the Spratlys in the South China Sea should be a concern to all of Asia. The agreement is a breach of political solidarity with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose influence has been key to containing Chinese hegemonic expansion in the region.

    Beijing can easily deploy its “grab and talk” tactics with individual claimants, but not if the claimants bind themselves together and deal with China as a group through the ASEAN framework. Once ASEAN unity is broken, China can build up its presence in the region, as it did when it put up a fortress in Mischief Reef in the late 1990s.

    Tokyo should be concerned about this matter because Chinese control of the Spratlys would be a threat to the economic security of Japan and South Korea. Seventy percent of the oil exports to both countries pass through the sea lanes between the Spratlys and Palawan. Surely, allowing one power to control these sea lanes would disrupt the balance of power in the Far East.

    What has Gloria and her greed wrought?????

  3. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 7:24 am

    Ooops, sorry, that wasn’t Japan weighing in on the issue but J of the Nutbox — he wrote the above which was published in the March 23 issue of The Japan Times.

  4. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 7:30 am

    That bastard Golez should be reminded this quote:

    To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable… — Theodore Roosevelt

  5. Toney Cuevas - March 26, 2008 7:51 am

    It appeared evil Gloria’s spokesman Anthony Golez is ready to surrender the Philippines territorial waters to China even before a single shot has been fired. Obviously, evil Gloria’s regime sounded like afraid to upset the China and lose the $4 billion loan and the share of percentage for the boys. I guess, in a way, we can’t expect too much from a dwarf imcompetent idiot illegal squatter(s) occupying Malacanang. And, I couldn’t understand what the Pilipino nation did to deserve this bunch of cowardly idiots. Pilipinos being punished?

  6. Ellen - March 26, 2008 8:23 am

    I don’t know how it happened but I posted only a portion of my column last night.

    Anyway i have posted the full article. I hope you find time to read it.

  7. Ellen - March 26, 2008 8:28 am

    I’d like to stress that treating Kalayaan as part of our territory under “the regime of islands” doctrine is not unpatriotic. We don’t lose it by not including it in our archipelagic baseline.

    The only legal way to include it under UNCLOS is to have it under regime of islands.If not we will lose jurisdiction over it because UNCLOS will not recognize extended continental shelf that is not connected to the main archipelago under the requirements that they laid down.

    Repeat, we don’t lose it as regime of islands. The example that Sen. Trillanes gave (Hawaii and Guam) is a good example. He said there are other examples of territories by other countries not within their baseline.

  8. Ellen - March 26, 2008 8:39 am

    If we enact into law a baseline that is not consistent with UNCLOS, which aims to create harmony and peace in the use of the world’s ocean, then we would be basing our claim of extended continental shelf or underwater extension of our land territory up to 350 nautical miles (we will be measuring it from the baseline that we would be enacting into law) on a defective baseline.

    There’s the risk of it being rejected by UNCLOS. If UNCLOS rejects our claim, then that would not be recognized by the international community, which then consider waters from 200 to 350 nautical miles from our baseline international waters which they can use freely.

    I think it what would be unpatriotic to file with the U.N something that would put the country’s interest at a disadvantage.

  9. Ellen - March 26, 2008 8:44 am

    BTW, there is no deadline for the filing of a country’s archipelagic baseline. We can deposit it anytime, just for the record, with the office of the UN secretary-general and at the UN International Maritime Organization in London.

    The deadline that we are trying to meet is the filing of our claim for extended continental shelf which is on May 13, 2009.

    However, to determine our Extended Continental Shelf (from 200 to 350 nautical miles sub-ocean extension of land), we need an official baseline.

  10. Spartan - March 26, 2008 9:46 am

    “The blind regaling the blind”…nice one Ma’m Ellen hehehe it really fits this golez character, by the way could you share any info if he is somehow related to Rep. Roilo Golez?

  11. Toney Cuevas - March 26, 2008 9:51 am

    I was wondering, if the aerial or photographic surveys to determine the baseline has been finished or still need to be done? Or what mechanism need to accomplish or how long would it take by the gov’t of the Philippines in order to establish the baseline? Are they contracting anyone to establish the baseline or the Philippines has qualified people in the gov’t to do the job? I guess, see what happen come May 13, 2009, if that idiot incompetent evil bitch Gloria will get her butt off the Jose Pidal and for once think Philippines for change.

  12. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 9:56 am


    Off topic but thought it might interest people here: Jane’s Information Services has come up with the world’s most stable and prosperous nations’ list, which ranks 20 (out of 27) EU countries among top 50 with Britain and France beating the US which ranks 24th. (see ranking in http://www.hillblogger3.blogspot.com )

    Meanwhile, InternationalLiving.com has just released a 2008 Quality of Life Index for 192 countries with France topping the list with a score of 85 ahead of Switzerland and the United States while the Philippines obtains a full score of 51 tied with Bahrain and Zambia (see http://www.manilabaywatch.blogspot.com )

    Here’s how the Philippines scored in the 2008 Quality of Life Index:

    Cost of living: 55

    Leisure and culture: 63

    Economy: 36

    Environment: 68

    Freedom: 67

    Health: 49

    Infrastructure: 34

    Risk and safety: 71

    Climate: 20

    Final score: 51

    (In my book, that’s an F as in Fail!)

  13. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 10:12 am

    Thanks, Ellen for clarifying!

    Re: “However, to determine our Extended Continental Shelf (from 200 to 350 nautical miles sub-ocean extension of land), we need an official baseline.”

    It makes it all the more important that we come up with an official baseline and for Congress to act accordingly!

  14. Ellen - March 26, 2008 10:18 am

    France is now number one in quality of life? It used to be Canada, I think.

    It’s just expected that we fail in the UN assessment.

  15. AdeBrux - March 26, 2008 10:20 am

    “I think it what would be unpatriotic to file with the U.N something that would put the country’s interest at a disadvantage.”


  16. Ellen - March 26, 2008 10:23 am

    Re Toney’s, “I was wondering, if the aerial or photographic surveys to determine the baseline has been finished or still need to be done? ”

    Far from it. Check this out: http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=2318

  17. Toney Cuevas - March 26, 2008 10:53 am

    Thanks Ellen! Not much time left, unless they do a non-competitive sole source to do the survey. Knowing this administration, I won’t be a bit surprise including the moderate greed of 20% for the boys. I don’t think the Philippines is not equip to do the job alone, I’m sure it’ll be contracted, to a chinese firm, probably.

  18. Valdemar - March 26, 2008 11:22 am

    Oil avenues for Korea and Japan does not pass between Spratlys and Palawan. Spratlys waters are still unsurveyed. There are no detailed navigational charts there for commercial vessels. Our government has not surveyed the area. Individual ships with interest there have their own surveys. A. Golez and his swarms may not be well schooled on terms surrounding UNCLOS but experts on something else like tongpats, etc, maybe.

  19. Mrivera - March 26, 2008 5:31 pm

    halatang scripted lahat ang sinasabi nitong mukhang tipaklong na puyat na anthony golez na ito. malinaw na sa bawat linya niyang sinasabi ay isinaulo mula sa idinikta ng kanyang panggulong ubo ng siba!

  20. J - March 26, 2008 5:59 pm

    Mr. Valdemar, oil avenues for Korea and Japan DO PASS between the seal lanes of Mischief Reef and Palawan.

    Here’s what Richard Fischer of the Heritage Foundation have to say:

    “The importance of freedom of navigation hardly can be exaggerated: Up to 70 percent of Japan’s oil transits the sea lane between Mischief Reef and Palawan. This sea lane is critical to the economies of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, which, in turn, propel Asian economic activity that allows the sales of enough U.S. goods to generate jobs for about 4 million Americans.”

    Brian MacCartan of the Asia Sentinel says:

    “Despite the fact that the islands are nothing more than specks that are incapable of supporting life on any scale, control over the sea lanes that run past them is crucial, not just to the six claimants but to Northeast Asian nations and the United States as well…. Fully a fourth of the world’s crude oil and oil products flow through what amounts to the globe’s second busiest sea lane, as well as gas, coal and iron ore. Control is important to Washington’s Northeast Asian allies, South Korea and Japan because it links them to oil from the Persian Gulf and thus threatens their energy security.”

    Celeste Lopez and James Conachy of WSW say:

    “The Spratlys occupy the major sea-lanes between East Asia and the Middle East and Europe. The bulk of the oil and gas required by Japan and South Korea, as well as an increasing proportion of China’s energy needs, is brought by tanker through the South China Sea. Tens of thousands of container vessels carrying goods to and from Japan, South Korea and China use the same sea lanes.”

    Richard Hull of the US National Defense University says:

    “The presumed existence of large oil and gas deposits in these waters and the strategic importance of shipping lanes between East Asia and South Asia, the Middle East and Europe have increased the risk of confrontations over disputed areas of the South China Sea and the urgency of averting these possible confrontations through a peaceful settlement.”

    However, I was wrong when I said that 70 per cent of oil eports to those two countries passes by the sea lanes between the Spratly Island and Palawan. Only a portion of that 70 per cent do. But the bottomline is, the bulk of that 70 per cent passes through South China Sea.

    The claim of China over Spratly hinges on their U-shape claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea. Beijing insists that the waters, resources, rocks and islands in the area, including Paracel and Scarborough, belong to them.

    If this claim is upheld, China can have Japan, South Korea and, by extension, the United States by the balls.

  21. J - March 26, 2008 6:03 pm

    I agree. We should go ahead and pass our claim in accordance with UNCLOS provisions to the UN Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelfs. I hope Senator Trillanes’ (we come from the same high school, by the way)version of the bill will be acted upon.

  22. marikit - March 26, 2008 9:43 pm


    Bansang Pilipinas kung tawagin ang aming bayan
    Sagana kami sa tubig, lupa at likas yaman
    O Bayan, kung tawagin kay Perlas ng Silanganan
    Mga dayuhan ay naaakit sa ‘yong kagandahan

    Subalit mga pangyayari di ko maunawaan
    Bakit kailangan kami pa ay mangibang bayan
    Sa ibayong dagat hinanap ang kinabukasan
    Upang kagutuma’t kahirapan ay maiwasan

    Marahil ay tanggap ko na ang kawalang pag-asa
    Ng bayan kong puno na ng hirap at pagdurusa
    Ano mang katiwalian marinig kay Lozada
    Hindi na ako bilib sa pipol power sa edsa

    Sa isip ko’y mga pulitiko ay pare-pareho
    Katiwalia’t pagnanakaw kanila ng bisyo
    Nakakatakot isipin damay pati Obispo
    Sa Mafia nila kasali pa yata mga sundalo

    Ngunit isang araw ako ay may nabalitaan
    Parte ng bayan ko’y halos isuko sa dayuhan
    Kapalit daw ‘to ng utang na may katiwalian
    Anak at apo ang magdurusa sa kabayaran

    O Bayan ko, sa aking sarili’y may natuklasan
    Sa dugo’y may dumadaloy pa palang makabayan
    Ganitong kasalanan tinuturing na sukdulan
    Handa ng tumayo at karapata’y ipaglaban

    Mga kababayan aking munting tinig ay pakinggan
    Tayo ay manalangin at isyung itoy tutukan
    Wag payagan umiral pa ang kasinungalingan
    Alang alang sa ating mga anak at inang Bayan

  23. norpil - March 26, 2008 11:01 pm

    mrivera-may ka kompetensya ka na. mabuti naman at dumadami ang ating manunula dito.

  24. cocoy - March 26, 2008 11:40 pm

    Scarborough Shoal is in the vicinity of Zambales.Ang susunod na ipagbili ni Arroyo ay buong Zambales na.Sabagay maraming Intsik doon.Duca ta na komon mangyari labay ni Arroyo ta kakaro hilay nay Zambaleno lako paot a mangang Zamabales na kinalabaw at matamis.

  25. SumpPit - March 27, 2008 12:55 am

    Good work, marikit.

    Malayong malayo si Usik Gulay sa ‘yo.

  26. Valdemar - March 27, 2008 7:30 am

    Thanks. I respect your references putting unusual weight on the strategic importance of the Spratlys. Not many go through the Palawan passage, just a few, those loading at Brunei and at the Malampaya fields though still not a favorite option of masters. The usual and shortest economical and safe route between Sngapore Strait and Japan-Korea-Taiwan-Batangas is of course through the South China Sea west of the Spratlys. I cannot see any point at all for anyone to control the Spratly the nemesis of opponents. If its Chinese control they cannot even stock up their arsenals on those reefs so they have to jump off from the Chinese mainland just the same. The Spratlys is not at a choke point. The Taiwan Strait is. Besides, with a few additional gallons of fuel, the really huge supertankers bypass Singapore and sail east of the Philippines.

  27. Valdemar - March 27, 2008 7:59 am

    BTW, “The presumed existence of large oil…” this presumption must have been derived from the crude oil cakes lodged by the westerlies on those reefs and islands from the rampant washings of tankers before reaching the Singapore Strait.

  28. TonGuE-tWisTeD - March 27, 2008 8:52 am

    Even the CIA Factbook says so. They (GIs) should know, they’ve scanned the place for decades they know it like the back of their hands. They haven’t shown interest though as much as they do with Iraq and Iran whose reserves, as Americans would say, GINORMOUS!

    Think about it, the geographical data have been available for so long, the purpose of the JMSU is at its hinky least, flimsical and stupid. Sattelites capable of scanning mineral deposits have done so for many years over it wouldn’t have been difficult to obtain had we not fallen out of grace with the Americans.

  29. J - March 27, 2008 12:14 pm


    I don’t how where you got your information. Maybe you are a sailor or something. But I’m still resolute on the fact that, as pointed out by many experts, oil exports for Northeast Asia do pass through the Spratlys sea lane. I’m not sure I’m going to believe you that these ships bypass Singapore and go through east of the Philippines. Wouldn’t that be more costly on their part?

    I’m young and inexperienced, but logically I think the bottomline is that if the Chinese claim of sovereignty over all of the South China Sea (the U-shape claim) if upheld, the sea ceases to be part of international waters, right? So that would mean the Chinese would have control over the sea lanes not just between Mischief Reef and Palawan but on the whole South China Sea, which is the second busiest sea lane in the world. Given the historic animosity between Tokyo and Beijing, I think the economic security of Japan and, by extension, the US, would be somehow at risk is that happens. That’s why I think neither Japan nor the US should be timid in joining the ASEAN in confronting Chinese hegemonic interest in the region.

  30. J - March 27, 2008 12:18 pm

    “The usual and shortest economical and safe route between Sngapore Strait and Japan-Korea-Taiwan-Batangas is of course through the South China Sea west of the Spratlys.”

    Still, this route would be controlled by the Chinese all the same if they get control of the Spratlys. That’s because their Spratly claim hinges on the assertion that the whole South China Sea belongs to them.

    “The Spratlys is not at a choke point. The Taiwan Strait is.”

    With the help of Mrs. Arroyo, the Spratlys might well become a choke point again.

  31. Ellen - March 27, 2008 4:03 pm

    Valdemar, I also don’t know where you got your info but oil from the Middle East to Asia DO PASS through the South China Sea, in the vicinity of the Spratlys.

    Later, I’ll give additional inputs on this to what J and Tongue have given.

  32. Mrivera - March 27, 2008 5:30 pm

    pareng cocoy, unahin na niyang ipagbili ang pampanga para mas masaya ang mga kabalen niya.

    norpil, ako ay na-a-akismet palagi dito sa bahay ni ellen. ‘andami kong mga posts na submitted na, pagbalik ko ay naglalahong parang bula!

    ewan ko ba!

  33. Mrivera - March 27, 2008 5:45 pm

    at, norpil, hindi ko kailanman itinuturing na kakompitensiya ang sino mang marunong ding tumula, bagkus ay piang-uukulan ko ng paghanga at ipinagmamalaki sapagkat pinahahalagaha’t idinadambana nila, katulad ni marikit ang isang busilak nating yamang hindi maaaring angkinin ng kahit na si gloria, ang pagbabanghay ng tula.

    ano nga ba ang alam ni gloria sa bagay na ‘yan.

    mabibili ba ng mga nakurakot niya ang likas na talinong ‘yan?

    di ba, marikit?

  34. norpil - March 27, 2008 6:12 pm

    mrivera, ang totoo ay inggit lang ako sa mga marunong tumula dahil hindi ko natutuhan, kaya pasensya na lang kung ang naging dating ng komment ko ay negative. kadalasan naman kasama ng inggit ay paghanga.

  35. Valdemar - March 27, 2008 10:23 pm

    J and Ellen,

    I forgot to mention that an adversary respects innocent passage. More so with the South China Sea and who ever controls it. If ever that is blockaded (which the chinese cant even sanitize the Taiwan strait) of course with a little cost added, ships can pass out of harm’s way east of the Philippines. Where I get my info’s? Shall I say from the voice of experience and direct from the horse’s mouth. One of my pasttimes though is getting abreast with the PLA.

  36. J - March 28, 2008 1:51 am


    Right now, some Japanese think tanks believe Japan should open the debate on going nuclear, which has always been a taboo. Why? Because of the North Korean deadlock. True, Kim Jong Il might dismantle Yongbyon soon, but the North Koreans already have the know-how of splitting an atom. The japanese believe that should Korea reunify, even under the South’s leadership, it would maintain knowledge of the know-how and even possession of atom bomb, which, given the historical animosity between Seoul and Tokyo, could be a direct threat against Japan. Both Seoul and Tokyo are strong allies of Washington so the Japanese are uncertain of the defense umbrella with the United States.

    You see, these people worry about this scenario even though it remains unclear if Korea would be unified in the near future or not.

    The Japanese are concerned because in geopolitics, things happen fast.

    My point? Even if the context of the relationship between China, Japan and the US right now is friendly and even if there’s always guarantee of innocent passage, Chinese control of the South China Sea remain dangerous. Things happen fast. We’d never know when the Chinese would become desperate for control, especially given the vulnerable context of its booming economy.

    So you innocent passage safety net is not enough to maintain economic security for Northeast Asia.

    And imagine if these ships bypass the South China Sea. That would be added cost! And added cost always trickle down. Especially given the US recession and the slowdown in Japan’s economy, China gaining control of the South China Sea is really dangerous at the very least.

  37. J - March 28, 2008 1:56 am

    “Where I get my info’s? Shall I say from the voice of experience and direct from the horse’s mouth. One of my pasttimes though is getting abreast with the PLA.”

    My information is also straight from the horse’s mouth. With people from different think tanks like the Heritage Foundation , WSW, Asia Sentinel, the CIA Fact Book and the US National Defense University concurring. But these info slightly contradicts your info for some reasons.

  38. Valdemar - March 28, 2008 7:31 am

    Dont worry so much on the Chinese taking control. That only makes good Bond sequel story. Those strategic analysts must earn money and keep their customers pour out more funds. Just think. Before, Chinese roar was heard and feared. But Quemoy alone is a thorn at its innards. How much more with islands its missiles cannot reach. How many ships will it deploy at the busy chinese lake that is the South China Sea? I think Lima Hong was the only credible seagoing naval force of the PLA.
    I happen to be the work horse myself. I do use references from lame horses but not necessarily swallow every hook, line and sinker. They may contradict my line but its all my modest share I coiled all these years through my eyeball experiences.

  39. zen2 - March 28, 2008 11:27 am

    ang husay naman, Marikit. sana palaging meron bonus dito.

    mabuhay ang mga makatang nagmamahal tunay sa Inang Bayan!

  40. zen2 - March 28, 2008 11:31 am


    re: your post, march 27, 2008 @ 7:59 am


    kung ang intensyon ay para mapagaan ang hininga ng lahat, tanggap ko at ako ay kasamang napangiti.

    kung ang layunin nito ay ipasa sa mambabasa bilang isang katotohanan, nais kong tutulan dahil taliwas ito sa mga pahayag na establisado na.

    hindi lamang mula sa nabanggit na references na hinain ng iba, kundi pati na rin mula sa dating PNOC chair.

    i-dagdag ko na rin mula mismo sa mga opisyal na pahayag ng gobyerno ng Red China, kamakailan lamang.

  41. zen2 - March 28, 2008 11:39 am

    anu-ano na kaya ang hakbang ng ating mga kapit-bahay sa UNCLOS?

    kasi kung walang nag-file sa kanila para sa extended continental shelf, dahil marahil malayo sa totoo, puwede naman tayo ang mauna—-sa kadahilanan ng proximity at chronicle of historical claims.

    kung sila ay may ganuon ding hakbang, eh di sige lang, hayaan nating UN body ang mag-desisyon.

    kahit sa North Pole, nagpapaligsahan ang ibat-ibang bansa para i-claim ang ilang parte at parsela nito, sa ilalim ng konsepto ng extended continental shelf; kasama ang Canada, Rusya, at maging ang Norway (hoping, memory serves me right), sa UNCLOS.

    isipin sana ng mga gunggong sa Malakanyang, na ang pagdulog sa isang UN body ay hindi act of war, hindi high-handedness
    bagkus, paghiling ng resolusyon.

    grabe, walang tigil ang diskarte ng pagkikitaan ang mga MERSENARYO !!

  42. TonGuE-tWisTeD - March 28, 2008 12:29 pm

    Suffice it to say, whoever control these hundred thousand square miles will always be at the strategic advantage none of the Americans, Europeans and Australians have and can only envy.

    A sea blockade cannot be fully imposed against an unruly North East Asia by the West without full cooperation of the Philippines. And vice-versa. The Americans have Micronesia in the Pacific but in today’s war, tha may be a few seconds too late and the war may be already over by the time they arrive.

    It is therefore foolish for Gloria to sell us out. We could be standing on a position of power on any Spratlys deal. She is hiding it from us.

    Now we cannot question that deal, too.


  43. Valdemar - March 28, 2008 4:57 pm

    ‘…taliwas ito sa mga pahayag na establisado …’ I understand what you mean. Bush used them and look what happened in Iraq. Whatever China is doing, thats propaganda. It keeps on roaring as always. We should remember it has its own internal problems, like those lambs in monks clothing, they bite back. It needs money to move troops around right in their own domain. It cant feed anymore any second child. We should be glad its might is purely land based, the PLA. It can gobble up its small neighbors anytime if its that really belligerant. But to cross water, hmmm, do you see their navy around? We might even have more marines than Red China.

  44. J - March 28, 2008 9:23 pm


    I’m sorry, but not to worry about Chinese hegemony over the South China Sea and to dismiss real Chinese threat as nothing but fiction straight out of James Bond, is at the very least naive and, quite frankly, dangerous. If all our diplomats would be that naive, God help our country. Those who see the real threats are analysts and experts from successful countries with successful foreign policy.

    You remind me of Manuel Quezon violently telling Carlos P Romulo to stop worrying about the Japanese threat because that threat is nothing bu fiction. We knew what happened. Romulo got a Pulitzer, the Japanese threat proved to be real, and Quezon had to apologized. But Manila and Washington miscalculated and before they could act, it was already late.

    Still you haven’t satisfactorily disproved the fact that Chinese control of the South China Sea is a threat to the economic security of Asia, and that it would be in the interest of all Asia if the South China Sea remains part of international waters. The U-shape claim of China over the said sea is illogical and baseless. We should not allow this claim to be upheld.

  45. Valdemar - March 30, 2008 6:11 pm

    I am not privvy with Quezon’s native instincts. I can only surmise he swallowed hook, line, and sinker the intel from the precursor of the CIA or the likes and perhaps so erroneous as what Bush got from them. Sometimes it pays though to be an alarmist like Romulo. He was up alive and kicking then and got vast raw intel that contradicted what was fed to Quezon on his deathbed for reasons in the national interest only of the US. Romulo’s right analyses were correct with the times. But Q had the last say. Right or wrong.

    As for the Chinese control, a possibility against it in part that you have indicated yourself with your, “The U-shape claim of China over the said sea is illogical and baseless.” They are already learning not only english but the valid wisdom of how to maintain also a robust economy thru coexistence with the west. It would not commit the same error as Japan with superior military might that wanted to expand in the region in World War II. But it could attain economic triumph less any kind of belligerence around here much less with the Spratlys. The crowd around here would not allow it to succeed. Its their sworn right to be free in everything. And they have allies also to contend with.

  46. J - March 31, 2008 1:25 pm

    “The crowd around here would not allow it to succeed. Its their sworn right to be free in everything. And they have allies also to contend with.”

    This is exactly what the “crowd around here” should be doing: not allow China’s U-shape claim to succeed. But it seems like they are not doing their part, because the US continues to adopt a hands-free policy, the Philippines has broken the ranks of the ASEAN through the JMSU, and South Korea and Japan couldn’t care less about the issue.

    Again, I repeat, I don’t think war with China would happen anytime soon. But I don’t think it’s not possible to happen. That’s why it is prudent for all of us to worry about China gaining control of the Spratlys and see it as a threat, contrary to your assertion that it’s nothing to worry about.

  47. Valdemar - April 2, 2008 2:06 pm

    just to calm you down, the Chinese has a calm water navy. Its long coast to watch per capita eats up all their high tech naval inventory once they go on patrol. What with a compulsory two years service, it doesnt make landlubbers develop sealegs that can be proficient enough for a long tour at the far and wide expanse of the Spratlys. Those reefs cannot nurture a wee bit of a naval force as a station or even a few of its marines. Best targets even. The chinese would rather plant their feet on solid grounds at the mainland. There are better opportunities there. So we will only hear its growls once in a while. It could take years or even centuries of protracted barks in the air.

  48. J - April 2, 2008 7:31 pm


    These things are always not a permanent facet. China’s attitude of today can change tomorrow.

    I agree that the days of invasions and occupation to gain influence are over. But that doesn’t mean we can allow a “friendly” neighbor to control islands net door and the second busiest sea where our emerging Asian economies partly depend.

    China is unpredictable. Every global actor is. China’s economy is vulnerable. And we all know what happens if a giant like China would be pushed against the wall. China is buying influence around its sphere and even in Africa. China is capable of flexing it muscles. More than that, China’s logi is sometimes different from many free countries. Take its claim that Tibet and all of South China Sea (meaning EEZs of all coastal ASEAN countries) belongs to it. If worse comes to worse, we won’t really be able to predict its actions. An we really can’t be sure of our security, given that the US can easily bail out of MDT when the conflict is in the Spratlys.

    And even if, assuming but not conceding that, you are right in saying that China is not a threat to be afraid of, I still wouldn’t allow it to control the South China Sea. I wouldn’t allow Papua New Guinea or Laos, weak countries that they are even, to control that ea and to control the Spratlys, which belongs to the Philipines. I would never say that there’s nothing to worry about them controlling that sea lane and groups of islands that are dangerously near our shores.

    Bottomline, China being a threat or not as of today, we can never say, like you did, that we shouldn’t worry about China taking control of South China Sea.

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