China claimed Spratlys 200 years late than Philippines - Carpio - The Daily Sentry

Monday, November 26, 2018

China claimed Spratlys 200 years late than Philippines - Carpio

Acting Supreme Court Justice Chief Antonio Carpio / Photo from
Acting Supreme Court Justice Chief Antonio Carpio, on Monday, discussed that the Philippines named Spratlys Islands and Scarborough Shoal as early as the 17th Century, way ahead than China.

Carpio asserted that the both Spratlys and Scarborough were already imprinted in the Philippine National Territory as early as 1734 in a “mother map” crafted by renowned Jesuit cartographer Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde upon the order of Spanish King Phillip II, through Governor – General Fernando Tamon to officially create a map of the Philippine Territory during that time.

Speaking before members of the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff in the House of Representatives, Carpio said, "In this (Murillo-Velarde) map, he included in Philippine national territory Scarborough Shoal but called it 'Panakot' because before 1734, that shoal was never given a name in any map."

Carpio, who is in the running for the chief justice post, argues that China committed its last territorial act against the Philippines in seizing the West Philippine Sea. He has been making rounds in the forum circuit across the country talking about the legal outcome of China's overreaching claims in the maritime region.
Antonio Carpio / Photo from  Philippine Star
The Acting Chief Justice added that “Scarborough” was only a given English name from a British Ship that ran aground on the rocks of the shoal along the traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales.

European Cartographers re – identified Scarborough as a Shoal now known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, derived from a Tagalog name, only Filipinos were the first ones to give.

"There is no older map from China or from Vietnam showing that Scarborough Shoal was their territory. Nothing at all, they don't have any document," Carpio maintained.

It was only in 1947, more than 200 years later than the Philippines, did China claimed recognition of Spratlys.

Prior to earlier claims, old Chinese maps only indicated that HAINAN was the only territory in its southernmost part, which now maintains jurisdiction over the South China Sea.
Photo from Manila Bulletin
"So 1947, China claimed the Spratlys but acknowledged that it is also claimed by the Philippines and by the French Indochina. They did not claim indisputable sovereignty," the Acting Chief Justice said.

As for the Scarborough Shoal, China just emulated the already obtainable British Maps and gave them renditions of English names.

"Scarborough is here. They did not have a name, they didn't know Scarborough Shoal. They just copied the maps of the British and they gave names," Carpio added.

Carpio also cited the 1900 Treaty of Washington, a treaty between Spain and United States for ‘giving up’ the country’s remote islands with which both Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal were indicated as part of the Philippine territory.

Beijing continuously justifies its legally invalid nine-dash line claim, possibly to encompass Benham Rise, an expansive underwater plateau east of the Philippines' landmass. The country insists that it has indisputable sovereignty over the region.

It also managed to develop surface – to – air missiles and electronic jamming equipment on its artificially – built islands in the Spratlys in recent months. Chinese Coast Guard personnel also reportedly drove away GMA News crew from the “Reporter’s Notebook” show and required them to seek permission from China prior to conducting any interviews in the area.

The Murillo - Velarde Map

It is the first and most significant scientific map of the Philippines indicating the Hydrographical and Chorographical Chart of the Philippine Islands published in Manila in 1734.

The map is not only of great interest from the geographic point of view, but also as an ethnographic document. It is flanked by twelve engravings, six on each side, eight of which depict different ethnic groups living in the archipelago and four of which are cartographic descriptions of particular cities or islands.

The Philippines were at that time an essential of the Spanish Empire, and the map shows the maritime routes from Manila to Spain and to New Spain (Mexico and other Spanish territory in the New World), with captions.

The original Murillo-Velarde Map was unveiled at the Carlos P. Romulo Library of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Building on May 30, 2017 along with its replica, received by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in a simple turnover ceremony at the Office of the Secretary led by Philanthropist Mr. Mel Velarde Velasco.

Undersecretary Enrique A. Manalo, Undersecretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale, Assistant Secretary Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, other officers and staff of the DFA, members of the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of other Government agencies joined the opening of this special exhibit.


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