RP baselines excludes Spratlys, Scarborough
|Posted by Manila Mail under Philippine News|
The Senate unanimously approved (15-0) on third and final reading yesterday the 2009 baselines bill or Senate Bill 2699 delineating the countryâ€™s archipelagic baselines, a requirement by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The bill, sponsored by Sen. Miriam Santiago, excludes Scarborough Shoal and Kalayaan Islands Group or Spratlys from the countryâ€™s archipelagic baselines. The two contested land territories would instead be treated under the â€œregime of islands.â€ But a counterpart bill approved by the House later, includes these two island groups.
Minority leader Aquilino Pimentel withdrew his objection to the treatment of the KIG and Scarborough Shoal as part of a â€œregime of islands” after Santiago, chair of the foreign relations committee, adopted the compromise that the contested islands remain subject to the sovereignty and territorial claim of the Philippines.