First of its kind: New book on PH maritime case vs China launched
Veteran journalist Marites Danguilan-Vitug launched Tuesday her latest book on the Philippines’ overwhelming victory in its maritime case against China over the South China Sea.
Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case against China, published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press, narrates how the arbitration case was pursued and later turned out to be a legal victory.
Speakers at the book launch were Vice President Leni Robredo, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
“In this book, Rock Solid, I tell the story of this victory that gave the country so much but has not been given the attention it deserved,” Vitug said in her remarks.
The Philippines won its case on July 12, 2016 in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which ruled that China’s nine-dash line claims in the South China Sea is invalid.
The case was filed during the Aquino administration, a few months after China seized Scarborough Shoal in 2012.
But the ruling, which was handed down about two weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, was set by the current administration aside in exchange of friendly ties and economic benefits from China.
Robredo said the book is a “treasure trove” of different perspectives on our decades-long struggles in the West Philippine Sea. The book contains interviews from different resource persons — from military officers, lawmakers, experts and those involved in the case.
“The details, perspectives and information about people described in this book were so deftly interwoven that it read like a novel,” she said.
Carpio, one of the legal experts who persisted in filing the maritime case against China, said the details in the book leads to “understanding on why events unfolded and happened the way they did.”
Del Rosario, meanwhile, said “the book could serve as a chilling reminder to our government of China’s persistent attacks on our sovereignty.”
“Let this book, therefore, serve as a reminder to our government of the factors and actions that took shape and which led us to where we stand today. With the award, we have left our future generations not only the sovereignty of our country but likewise the legacy of a rules-based international order,” Del Rosario noted. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.