Gov't on the right path on West PH Sea issues, says maritime law expert | Inquirer News

Gov’t on the right path on West PH Sea issues, says maritime law expert

/ 07:52 PM July 12, 2023

A maritime law expert on Wednesday commended the Marcos administration on maintaining its stance on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) despite the ongoing maritime dispute.

Jay Batongbacal FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — A maritime law expert on Wednesday commended the Marcos administration on maintaining its stance on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) despite the ongoing maritime dispute.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, shared that various countries supported the Philippines against China’s misconduct.

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“Maganda po ang mga moves ng government ngayon, na pinapakita natin na talagang gusto nating sa mundo na naninindigan tayo sa ating mga karapatan,” said Batongbacal.

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(The government is making good moves, we are really showing the world that we are standing by our rights.)

According to him, the United States (US), the European Union (EU), and Japan showcased their support of the Philippines’ stance to have access to WPS.

“Lahat sila ay nagcocommit din na tutulungan tayo na palakasin ang ating mga capability para mabantayan ang sarili nating mga likas yamang-dagat at makipagtulungan para manaig ang international law at itong China ay magbago at sumunod na lang sa international law imbes na pinipilit niya lang ang poder niya para makuha yung mga objective niya,” said Batongbacal.

(All of them committed to helping us strengthen our capabilities so that we can guard our natural aquatic resources and aid us so that the international law will prevail so that China would change and follow international laws rather than impose themselves to get to their objective.)

Just last month, the Philippines, alongside the US and Japan, coordinated increased combined maritime activities in the WPS to improve the country’s maritime domain awareness and enhanced humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

READ: PH, US and Japan OK more activities in WPS

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In a joint statement released Tuesday, the EU delegation reiterated their support for the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision recognizing Philippine sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.

READ: EU, 16 member states reaffirm support for WPS arbitral ruling on 7th year

He went on to say that as the Philippines continues to demonstrate its relationships with other countries and their support for the country’s cause, China will be unable to intervene due to the presence of other countries readily.

When asked for Batongbacal’s opinion on the steps Marcos took within his first year in office concerning the WPS crisis, he said that many Chinese fishing vessels no longer loiter in the sea, although naval vessels with different intentions continue to appear.

Batongbacal then stated that even though China appears to have stepped back, the authorities should remain vigilant and retain the country’s solid stand on its territory. — Bea Alicia Delariarte, INQUIRER.net trainee 

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Marcos admin shines in disaster response, OFW protection; flunks in inflation control — Pulse

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TAGS: Government, Marcos, West Philippine Sea, WPS

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