First of a series on our messy maritime claims
THE likes of former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio and Aquino 3rd’s bungling former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario have been incessantly ranting against China, that it is encroaching on our exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and our “West Philippine Sea” (WPS).
A bit of a problem though: we do not have an EEZ nor a territorial sea — yet. We have not enacted a law indicating these maritime areas. The government agency that has the sole authority to define such areas as provided by law and locate it in official maps says so.
We may not even have a West Philippine Sea, since President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administrative order giving that name to the waters off the western side of the Philippine archipelago implicitly stipulated that a big part of it is the EEZ, which however really has a phantom existence at this time.
Yes in theory, we have such maritime areas, since we ratified the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos) in 1984, which stipulated that the EEZ “shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines.”(more…)