Our victory at the Hague court is permanent and priceless
by Jose Rizal M. Reyes / poet-philosopher, Philippines / August 5, 2016
To those who think that the Hague ruling handed down recently is a useless, empty and unenforceable victory for the Philippines that does more harm than good — perish the thought! It was a huge victory for us, a victory that is going to be achieved and enjoyed in full no matter what delay might be encountered due to China’s hardheadedness and hallucination.
Just consider what British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahma is saying. He said that as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the United Kingdom is seeking “complete compliance” with the Hague ruling. And inasmuch as the ruling is favorable to us, he was in effect fighting for our cause even if it was not worded or intended that way!
Can’t you see? The Hague ruling is a deadly club which — even if our own national leaders for some mysterious reason wouldn’t like to wield it — can be wielded nonetheless by our country’s friends and allies in our behalf, intentionally or not!!
By his pronouncement, the UK ambassador joined the growing list of foreign officials who have urged all parties concerned to comply with the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration concerning the maritime case filed by the Philippines against China. He was merely echoing the same call made by British prime minister David Cameron.
Other foreign officials who have also urged compliance with the PCA ruling include the foreign ministers of Japan, Australia and Canada as well as several top US officials. European Council president Donald Tusk reportedly told Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang that it is “in the best interests of the people of China and Europe to protect the rule-based international order.”
The Hague ruling is worth more than 5 submarines, 7 war jets and 6 destroyers! Our moral and legal victory is also worth more than our legal expenses, even if those expenses are multiplied a hundredfold, a thousandfold! What we won is permanent and of inestimable value! Its enormous economic value aside, we need the West Philippine Sea for our national dignity, for our national security, and for the fulfillment of our national destiny.
Had we lost the case, or had we not filed it, the future of the Philippines — even our present existence — would have been very dark, gloomy and hopeless. It would be like living in our own house feeling cooped up, feeling imprisoned or restricted, with gangsters encamped in our front yard. It would have been a very intolerable existence for us as a nation unless you are one of those who are emotionally challenged and mentally deficient, someone to whom these lines of poetry by Sir Walter Scott would fittingly apply:
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
I am not such a person, nor should you be. Therefore, as a co-sovereign of our Republic, I hereby declare it treason for any Filipino, more so high government officials, to demean or diminish in any way the great victory we won at the Hague court.
The Hague ruling is just and fair. We did not aggrieve anyone. We did not win what was not ours nor added what did not belong to us before. The Hague ruling merely recognized and spelled out what are our rights under international law, particularly UNCLOS to which China is a signatory and therefore should comply with the ruling. These same rights are enjoyed by other maritime countries in their respective areas.
But there was one country who was called out for its baseless 100-meter-dash claim. Or is it 9-dash or 10-dash? Anyway, it is also called the Ox Tongue because of its shape. The Hague court declared that China’s claim has no legal basis and is unlawful under UNCLOS.
Two years before the Hague ruling, apparently encouraged by the lack of world outcry to its initial expansionist moves against neighboring countries, China through its ministry of education issued a 251-dash global map that includes Hawaii and much of Micronesia, not to mention the main body of the Pacific Ocean! Because a much larger area is covered, let’s call this map the Dinosaur’s Tongue!
Accusing China of “cartographic rape”, President Manny Mori of Micronesia called the larger map “absurd”. Among the countries to be affected by the new map are the U.S., France and Mexico.
Anyone who sees the two maps — the 9-dash Ox Tongue and the 251-dash Dinosaur’s Tongue — can easily conclude which country is causing all the trouble and tension in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. It is no other than China which is making all these expansive and expansionist territorial claims. The Hague ruling can be used by the international community to restrain China from running amok!
Actually, without the support of the international community, the Philippines could have been easily choked and controlled by China through territorial seizure, diplomatic pressure, military action and other means. It is the good fortune of our country that at this point of world history, our national interest aligns beautifully with the national interests of several neighboring countries as well as countries in North America and Western Europe.
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UK ambassador urges parties to comply with Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on West PHL Sea row
(Posted on August 2, 2016 by Northbound Philippines News Online)
MANILA — British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad urges countries with claims in the West Philippines Sea to comply with the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
“We ask every state involved to abide by those rules,” said Ahmad during his meeting with British Chamber of Commerce Philippines in Makati City Tuesday.
He added that as a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), United Kingdom seeks for “total compliance” with the ruling of the PCA over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Last month, PCA’s ruling on West Philippine Sea has favored Manila invalidating China’s ‘nine-dash line’, noting that “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas within the nine-dash line’”.
Ahmad also urged involved parties to take necessary steps, which is to have dialogues and negotiations.
“Our view is that the negotiations perceived is based on the Code of Conduct which affects not only the Philippines and china but other claimant states,” he added.
The British ambassador also stressed that involved countries should not resort to escalation of the conflict.
Source via West Philippine Sea Updates: