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On Friday, Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Caprio said that there are legal remedies available to assert Manila’s rights over its South China Sea claims, especially since China continues to cross into the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Caprio said that the Philippines can seek to cancel China’s rights to its seabed if Beijing continues to ignore The Hague’s July ruling on the Philippines-China South China Sea maritime dispute. According to Caprio, the Philippines can press legal rights even further.
On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, in a stinging rebuke, ruled “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.” It added that there was also no legal basis to China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.
“We can ask the international seabed authority to suspend the exploration permits, the UN (United Nations) commission on the limits of the continental shelf to suspend the application of China,” he said at a forum at the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City, metro-Manila.
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“We can sue China if China brings a gas platform in the Reed Bank. We can sue China for damages to the marine environment,” he said, adding that there are many legal remedies to show China that the Philippines is not helpless.
“There may be other things. We have to be creative about this. I’d like the legal community to think about it, but we don’t have to do this right now. We have to think about it and let China know we are not helpless,” he said.
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