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China has backed Phlilippine maritime zone – Carpio

MANILA, Philippines — By recognizing a 1900 treaty as among those regulating the Philippine territory, China has inadvertently supported Manila’s claim over disputed features in the West Philippine Sea, former Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio said.

Carpio, in an interview with “Storycon” over One News yesterday, also described as a “watershed moment” the mention of the Treaty of Washington during the recent keynote speech of President Marcos at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

“When President Marcos Jr., for the first time in Philippine history, said that the Philippine territory is regulated by the Treaty of Paris as that was amplified, clarified and amended by the Treaty of Washington… That is factually, legally and historically correct,” said the former justice.

“That is our narrative. That is the correct story of the Philippines,” Carpio added.

Signed by Spain and the United States in 1900, the Treaty of Washington essentially amended the 1898 Treaty of Paris that granted the possession of various Spanish territories – including the Philippines – to the US.

Carpio said the second treaty was signed after several islands that are part of the Philippine territory were later discovered to be outside the treaty lines identified in the Paris treaty.

“There’s only one article in that Treaty of Washington: Spain also cedes to US any and all islands belonging to the Philippine archipelago, lying outside the lines of the Treaty of Paris,” said the former justice.

“It included all islands of the Philippine archipelago outside the lines. So the question is, what are the islands of the Philippine archipelago outside the lines? Where is that document? Where is that map?” he added.

Carpio referred to three Spanish-era maps that clearly showed features in the West Philippine Sea, including Scarborough Shoal and Spratlys, as part of Philippine territory.

China, he said, may have been misled by some legal luminaries from the Philippines who previously wrote that the Treaty of Paris excludes the features of West Philippine Sea as part of the Philippine territory.

“These are all wrong… (These) are factually, legally and historically false,” he said,