WEST PHILIPPINE SEA DISPUTE

PH can’t get military aid from allies

7

The Philippines cannot seek military assistance from allies, which includes the United States, in its ongoing dispute with China over the West Philippine (South China) Sea.

This was stressed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio during his presentation at the “Perspective on the Issues Involving the West Philippine Sea” which was held at the AFP Commissioned Officer’s Club at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“The Philippines cannot hope to deter China given the state of the Philippines’ external defense forces. The Philippines cannot invoke the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty because the disputed islands in the Spratlys are outside the scope of the treaty,” he added.

The Philippines and the US signed in 1951 a Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States.


The Philippines has one of the weakest Armed Forces in the Southeast Asian Region and is relying on American aid to prop up its dilapidated Air Force and Navy.

Recently, the country made some progress in modernizing its forces but despite the improvements, it cannot hope to to deter China from making aggressive moves in the West Philippine Sea.

Carpio said that the only recourse the country can do to break the impasse is the legal one.

“The only effective response available is to bring the dispute to an arbitral tribunal under UNCLOS, to which both the Philippines and China are parties. Even then, UNCLOS governs only maritime disputes, not territorial disputes. Nevertheless, the maritime dispute covers 85.7 percent of the South China Sea waters, drastically reducing the area of conflict if the Philippines wins the arbitration,” he added.

UNCLOS refers to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Carpio earlier said if the International Tribunal will not apply the UNCLOS to the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, then it would mean the end of that particular Convention.

“Why is it important to apply UNCLOS to the South China Sea dispute, because if we don’t apply it then UNCLOS, the Constitution for the ocean and seas of our planet cannot also apply to any maritime dispute in the rest of the oceans and seas of the world, it would be the beginning of the end of UNCLOS,” he added.

And should this happen, Carpio said the rule of the “naval cannon will prevail in the oceans and seas.”

This will trigger a naval arms race among coastal countries, he added.

“Just imagine if the tribunal says we don’t have jurisdiction the 9-dash Line is valid then what will happen, the only way we can protect our ourselves is to acquire warships, warplanes, anti-ship missiles, resources that should go to education, infrastructure, and social services will have to be re-allocated to defense and, no matter how many warships we buy we cannot defeat China, we can only hope to deter China but there is no way we can win in a total war, so its totally useless,” Carpio pointed out.

“(And) if the tribunal says there is no jurisdiction, the 9-dash Line prevailed, then there is no law of the sea anymore, everybody will have to arm, every nation will have to arm itself but that’s not enough to resolve the dispute, it will just worsen the dispute, and the judges in the tribunal will be out of job because nobody will follow the law of sea anymore,” he concluded.

PNA

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7 Comments

  1. alvin stamaria on

    Our course of action thru the UN is good but we must modernize our armed forces too….although late but we must give credit to this administration of the course of action being done……raising the issue to the UN & jump starting again the AFP modernization program……

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    02 August 2015

    It is never right, let alone wise, for a country to depend on “allies” in the event it is invaded by another.

    A country should have the MILITARY CAPABILITY to defend itself in the event that it is invaded by another.

    But that is only true in the academic sense. In the real world, countries enter into alliances with others in their common defense just in case they are threatened by another or by a group of belligerent countries.

    World War II is a classic example of this Principle of Alliances. Germany attacked and occupied Poland in September of 1939. England and France forthwith declared war on Germany. Adolph Hitler went on a rampage, invading and occupying France. Soon thereafter the United States, Russia and Canada banded together as allies against Germany which got Italy and Japan as its allies likewise.

    The rest is history. World War II ended sometime in May of 1945 when the Allies completely defeated Germany. In his underground bunker in Berlin, Hitler put a bullet to is head, minutes after he asked his wife Eva Braun to poison herself.

    Japan, defeated mainly by the United States, but allied with Britain and Australia, in the Pacific War of World War II, surrendered in September of 1945, after US President Harry Truman gave the go-signal for the US Air Force to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima 6 August 1945 and another atomic bomb on Nagasaki 3 days later.

    Not long after the end of WWII in Europe, on the initiative of the United States, the NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION was formed with around 28 member- nations now. The Alliance is meant to be a defensive one, in the event that the former USSR should make the mistake of invading and occupying any one of its member-states. Now NATO is meant to deter Russia, just in case.

    So much for the existential need of nations for allies.

    The Philippines is virtually “naked” or “defenseless” in the MILITARY sense. All this time, it has not seen the need to create a credible Military, Naval and Air Force even only for purely DEFENSE purposes. It is only now, with the threat China poses in the Western Philippine Sea that the Government is beginning to awaken to the urgent need of MODERNIZING its Defense Establishment. It may be “late in the day,”but it’s always “better late than never!”

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

  3. Justice Carpio is 101%right. We cant rely on our allies. We must do it ourselves. We dont need.to equal their military might but by just making sure that we can damage or hurt them is enough. Missile defense arsenal is what we need. Arming our Islands with missiles is very important because our islands are close to each other. Fighter jets and frigates are necessary to make sure that our territorial waters are being watched and monitored.

    • damage or hurt them?!?!?! WTF?! The Philippines knows very well that it cannot “act up” in SCS because it knows very well it cannot match China. So The Philippines should focus on upgrading a military that is capable of guarding, patrolling, and policing our waters! Also PHL needs to improve much needed infrastructure on the islands it currently occupies, if they want to be respected by other claimants.

  4. Nevertheless the Philippine Military must modernize, a strong military with the aid of strong allies will surely make china think twice before going to war.

  5. I remember taking a ride on a Philippine Air Force six sitter propeler air plane , while waiting for the Take off , the pilot handed us two 4 inch nail
    To use as securing latch for left and right side windows before take off ,
    Though not religious I started praying !!