The West Philippine Sea has been a familiar topic to journalists, reporters, lawyers, and government officials in the past years due to the controversy with its economic and territorial rights. Known to some as the South China Sea, the West Philippine Sea is a body of water being claimed entirely by China, even though the Philippines has the sole economic rights to it, as prescribed by the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
But even with the EEZ, Chinese vessels, ships, and researchers are already building military facilities, research outposts, and even artificial islands on territories under Philippine jurisdiction. This has alarmed many, including former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and retired Justice Antonio Carpio, as it poses a threat to Philippine sovereignty and destroys the country’s coral reefs and marine life.
Because of this, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio created a lecture on defending the West Philippine Sea and the country’s sovereignty. His lecture, entitled Defending Philippine Sovereign Rights in the West Philippine Sea, has been delivered countless times to different audiences—students, government officials, and think tanks, among others—and now, it will be available for everyone to watch! (Read: Did You Know: Filipinos Used to Celebrate Independence Day on July 4)
Retired Justice Carpio’s lecture tackles the issue of the dispute for the West Philippine Sea, how it affects our sovereignty, and what we can do. He also focuses on how we could have defended our right to the territory if we took the dispute to the international courts. Everyone can learn something from the retired justice’s signature lecture by watching here.
Retired Justice Carpio has also vowed to uphold the constitution and protect the Philippines’ sovereignty in all his “remaining waking hours” through the proper channels.
“At age 70, I plan to spend most of my remaining waking hours defending our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea through the means I know best – through the rule of law,” he said in 2019 during one of his retirement celebrations.