When the Supreme Court once again dismissed the plea of the Filipino “comfort women” for formal redress for the abuse they suffered during World War II, it lost a golden moment to be on the right side of history. Politically, the Philippines would have joined the global outrage against rape as a prize and a weapon of war. Legally, it would have advanced the protection of women against sexual offenses in armed conflict. And diplomatically, it would have affirmed the power of international law in a case which China cannot in conscience dispute. China likewise suffered the wartime abuse of its women. It can flout international law in the West Philippine Sea, but can it disown it with its comfort women? Only by diminishing the role of law in global politics, or deprecating the sacrifice of Chinese victims.
The Philippines has gained much publicity and international support for its position vis-à-vis China in the ongoing maritime disputes over shoals, reefs and islets in the South China Sea. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario himself was in Brussels not long ago to present the Philippine case before a European audience. And last July 30, European [...]
I am a first-level court judge posted in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. My father is a full-blooded Chinese who migrated to the Philippines in 1938 at the height of the Sino-Japanese war.
By Ramon Farolan
For most of us ordinary citizens many of the acronyms that make up much of the discussions concerning our dispute with China are just terms and phrases used by international lawyers talking with each other. Many of us know very little or almost nothing about Unclos, EEZ, ECS, LTE, and other similar references that are at the heart of the disagreements with our powerful next-door neighbor.
Perhaps the only upside to the ongoing territorial dispute involving China over reefs, shoals and islands in the South China Sea is the fact that it has nudged an alliance among other claimant-nations as well as between Japan and the Philippines. In fact, President Aquino’s recent visit to Japan was intended to highlight the [...]