By Volker Stanzel
The world debate may be preoccupied with “hot” crises in the Middle East, the Islamic State and Eastern Ukraine and fighting Ebola. Yet, tensions in East Asia have not subsided. Even though the region has seen quite a remarkable level of peace ever since China’s war against Vietnam in 1978-79, there is a new uncertainty.
By Narciso M. Reyes Jr.
China’s leaders may yet relive Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about vanity, featuring an unclad emperor who couldn’t see his own nakedness, thanks to Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. In a diligently researched 62-page treatise titled “Historical facts, Historical Lies, and Historical Rights in the West Philippine Sea,” Carpio called China’s claim to the greater part of the South China Sea a “gigantic historical fraud,” with no ground to stand on.
The arrest of 11 Chinese fishermen (including two minors) who were caught poaching some 500 marine turtles off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on May 6 has raised regional tensions again, back to levels last seen during the standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels off Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc in 2012. But the Philippine government did the right thing in arresting (and in moving to deport the two minors), and China must understand that the best option now available for its nationals is to allow the Philippine legal process to proceed.
Section 21 of Article VII of the “Cory” (mother of President Aquino) Constitution says: “No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate.”
By Amando Doronila
The Philippines is bracing for a heavy fallout of retaliation from China after Manila filed last Sunday a case with the United Nations arbitration tribunal in The Hague, subjecting Beijing to international legal scrutiny over disputed waters in the South China Sea.