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RP baselines excludes Spratlys, Scarborough

The Senate unanimously approved (15-0) on third and final reading yesterday the 2009 baselines bill or Senate Bill 2699 delineating the country’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 country’s archipelagic baselines. The two contested land territories would instead be treated under the “regime of islands.” 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 “regime 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.
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