Retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice Antonio Carpio on Friday (Sept. 18) urged Filipinos to show their support to the note verbale of several European countries which rejected China’s territorial claims over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“The Joint Note Verbale rejects the straight baselines drawn by China around the Paracels as contrary to UNCLOS,” said Carpio in a statement about the joint note verbale issued by the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
“This serves as a warning to China that it cannot draw straight baselines around distant offshore islands or archipelagos since China is not an archipelagic state,” he added.
The retired magistrate noted that the joint note verbale cited the arbitral award which the Philippines secured against China from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague Netherlands on July 12, 2016 which stated that China’s claims to historic rights do not comply with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“The Joint Note Verbale expressly supporting the arbitral award in favor of the Philippines comes right after the U.S. and Australia issued similar statements of support,” Carpio said.
“The Filipino people should be deeply thankful to these countries for supporting the arbitral award and ensuring that the rule of law will prevail in the oceans and seas of our planet,” he pointed out.
Carpio cited that the joint note verbale “asserts the rights to innocent passage and to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS.”
“The Filipino people should welcome the naval powers that exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China since such exercises affirm that there are high seas, and exclusive economic zones of coastal states, in the South China Sea, effectively debunking China’s claims to historic rights to the South China Sea,” he said.