Scarborough belongs to PH, old maps show

Documents back claim, says lawmaker

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BAJO SCARBURO European cartographers named Scarborough Shoal as “Bajo Scarburo” in this 1820 map from the book “Mapping the Philippines: The Spanish Period.”

Old maps dating back to Spanish colonial times may hold the key to the claim of the Philippines to Scarborough Shoal.

Known as “Bajo Scarburo,” the shoal now called Panatag by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), has been part of the known world since 1734, when European cartographers began to map the world in an age of conquest.

In fact, Bajo Scarburo appeared on a map of the “Archipelago Filipino” as a constituent part of Sambalez (Zambales province) in a topographic map of the country “drawn under the direction of Ildefonso de Aragon on April 15, 1820.”

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who has a collection of ancient maps of the country, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Sunday that the maps would easily disprove the territorial claim of China to the shoal and its surrounding waters, which, he said, had no historical or legal grounds under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (Unclos).

“It’s clear that Scarborough Shoal is part of our cartography during the Spanish colonial times,” he said. “We have maps (reproduced) from the original, which was made in 1734. During that time, Scarborough is already part of the Philippines.”

The DFA has asked Beijing to resolve the dispute through arbitration in the United Nations-backed International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, but China swiftly rejected this.

As in the dispute over the Spratly Islands involving six nations, including the Philippines and China, Beijing has always preferred bilateral, where it has a clear advantage over smaller nations, over a multilateral approach.

But the DFA is standing by its decision to seek international arbitration with or without China.

The manuscript maps can be found in full-color in the hardbound book titled, “Mapping the Philippines: The Spanish Period,” authored by Angara, Jose Ma. A. Cariño and Sonia P. Ner, and  published by the Rural Empowerment Assistance and Development in September 2009.

The book contains another map, which was published in Madrid in 1875 and republished by the US Department of War in 1899, a year after the Philippines was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris. It bears the description: “This is a general map of the Philippine Archipelago arising from the work of the Hydrographic Commission of the Philippines under the command of Claudio Montero y Gray.”

‘Mother of all maps’

The 1875 map was the “product of the most comprehensive mapping and charting work in the Philippines lasting more than 20 years (1849-1870).”

Angara said the original maps were deposited at Spain’s Museo Naval de Madrid.

A Jesuit scholar, Pedro Morillo y Velarde, came up with the first “complete map of the Philippines,” said the senator. This was later known as the “Morillo Map,” which delineated the Philippine territory under Spanish rule, and which became the basis for the Treaty of Paris.

Three original copies of the Morillo Map are kept in Madrid, Paris and Washington, which were parties to the treaty.

For US$20 million, the treaty gave away the Philippines to the United States following the humiliating defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War, which ended Spain’s empire in the Americas and the Pacific and set the stage for US colonial hegemony.

“We have a historic title to it (Scarborough Shoal) as early as the 17th century. It’s already on our map. All the cartographic maps subsequent to 1734 were based on the Morillo Map. It was the mother of all maps,” Angara said.

Strong evidence

“That should be a strong evidence of our ownership of Scarborough,” he said.

He noted that Scarborough Shoal’s “extreme proximity” to Zambales, 220 kilometers, compared to 840 km from the nearest coast of China in Hainan province.

Asked whether the maps would establish beyond any doubt the Philippine sovereignty over Scarborough, Angara said: “It’s one strong evidence, and we have other pieces of evidence.”

Angara, who coauthored Senate Bill No. 2181, which defines the baseline of the Philippine archipelago, said maps had always interested him.

“This fascination extends to collecting old maps. I think I was initially attracted to them out of curiosity and because of their age and rarity. Maps define our territory and our sense of nationhood. As a student of history, I realize how maps determine the fate of both the colonized and the colonizers, and how even to this day, the matter of geographic boundaries and the desire to expand or defend them underlie most of the turmoil in the world,” he said.

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  • AFPako

    Yuan Dynasty (11th century)  showed the expansion of Mongolian empire from far east of Manchuria to islands in the South China Sea (known internationally) to as far west as the oil fields of Baku , Azerbaijan. If you read of Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan these were mean SOBs  of their time. Phlippine islands were inhabited by islanders god knows what . Filipinos were  unheard of , maybe just pockets of brown tribal groups inhabiting coastal towns in these archipelago. Each tribes had their own turf and carry own their usual lives, had their own laws and living inpeace. Most as we know they were mainly warring tribes fighting for turf and resources.  Pirates abound just like bad peoples nowadays. Either they be moro, polynesian,malayan, indo , Chinese or Vietcong savages, they were scums of the seas.  Then came the white men (kastilas)  in 1521 led by no other than Magellan. Europeans  were unheard  of in these islands . The islanders thought they were from heaven as they were whiteskinned. They received them with open arms but for all they knew these greedy Euros were out to skinned them alive, raped their women and children and steal their land. So history goes… After 333 yrs of their rule they gave us to a new white rule, the Kanos of North America. They were new masters of the sea and we all gladly follow them .

    Whle the white men of America conquered more lands with their industrial might, China on the other hand declined from 15th century to 1911.  And jumped to today’s China, they are reclaiming what their historical books have told them so. The South China Sea island s are theirs and mostly conflict will follow . We will again ask our former Kano masters to come back and help us out . They d stole these islands from 15th century period China and gave it to us in 1946 once  we got our independence.   So handa na tayo or we let our Kano bros do the legwork . THey have  interest on the oil and gas and they got the aircraft carriers so why are we taking pains. Let the superpowers sort this sxxx out. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrei-Constatino/100002499379911 Andrei Constatino

       AFP ka o isa ka ring komunistang balimbing pinagttanggol mo pa china..mgbasa ka muna ng mga legal matters bout teritorial claims before you based your opinions on chinese made history…while telling us na wlang rights ang filipinos dahil wla alm mga sinaung tao nun…are telling us that china lang ang tao that time…for your information well known seafarers na mga pinoy that era your claiming china is the owner of the south china sea…study history especially about balangay

      • AFPako

        Aba nagpapaikik ka na sa mga legal matters, talking lawyer ka ba? Sounds like typical elitist crap . Im not favoring CHina or what, just talking of historical facts.  CHina is old ancient land with a long history, you cannot deny that. Philippine archipelago wasnt named Philippines until dirty Kastilas stole it from the local brown azzed inhabitants. Yes, they were using bancas and katig or sailboat as we see it now.  So did the Chinese junk anchored in HK harbor. Mag isip ka muna para kanamang lawyerazzed magsalita.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/772CXXWWAXRNSJGSVZ5IKIUTLU paolo

        AFP ka nga…..kaya ka pala bulok kasi AFP ka…..hahahaha…ano ka ba AIR FORCE na ang pinagmamalaki ay profeller airplanes…or navy na iisa ang barko….pulis na kriminal….o army na corrupt….kaya hindi umasenso tayo dahil sa mga tao na katulad nyo…good luck sa gera na haharapin nyo…isang bayoneta lang katapat nyo sa mga chinese….hindi ka pag aaksayahan ng isang missile ng china…AFP magsumbong na lang kayo sa mga kano…kahiya kayo…..takot naman sa china…

  • gloriamacatagal

    YES!!! kill all yellow in-bred blackhearted chinese freaks!!! drive them away from our philippine homeland. spit on their faces. rob them back of the money they stole from us. destroy their malls and shops that sell substandard merchandise. kidnap their children and have them return the money they get from us, as ransom. use their faces as mops to clean our floors and cars. chop them to pieces and use them as free feed to our exotic crocodiles and fishes. occupy their homes in posh subdivisions; they belong to us anyway. carjack their cars and use them to run them over. break their flat noses when they start talking chinese in front of you. defecate on their mouths to save flush water. feed them leftovers to save the world’s resources. ligate and vasectomize all of them so they can no longer infect the human race with their unwanted seed. have them row our ships and push our cars to save on fuel. send them to wars as suicide bombers instead of dogs so that military gains are best achieved. have them line up in shooting ranges to improve the shooting skills of our countrymen. make them work without wages until they die, to save on money and human labor; many chinese children will be there as reserve anyway. let us all do this. erase all chinese from the face of the earth, while putting them to better use!!!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ER6JKQWJID2CIPI57Y4PKKUDUY Darius

      ayon sa statistics 7 milyong wlang trabaho sa pilipinas, sana itong 7 milyong ito gawin sundalo ng pilipinas at ikalat sa buong pilipinas…

  • MNLFoodcritic

    If China wins ownership of Scarborough Shoal in the international courts via their territories owned by the Han Dynasty, the Italian government can now claim all countries under the Roman Empire, the Republic of Macedonia can now claim all countries under Macedonian Alexander the Great, Mongolia can now claim all countries occupied by Genghis Khan.

  • Ricky Zhuang

    中国出于大局考虑,主动撤出包括最先进的“渔政310”船在内的两艘执法船只,这被视为释放“善意”。这是稳定局势的选项之一,但是否是最佳选项,还有待历史检验。
    笔者认为若从战略高度考虑,非但不应“撤火”,而且还应利用这次机会强化在黄岩岛上的主权存在,在黄岩岛悬挂国旗,设立主权碑,建军事基地,起码设立渔业基地。黄岩岛应该是我们“破局”南海困境的示范区。既然菲律宾把黄岩岛问题摆在世人眼下,我们就要向世人展示一下,我们是怎样维护国家主权和领土完整的。
    我们要破解国际上一些人的误区:
    其一,误认为中国要保“战略机遇期”,死活不会动武。差矣!战略机遇期,既是经济发展的战略机遇期,也是国防发展的战略机遇期,两者相辅相成,经济发展给国防发展提供前所未有的物质基础,国防发展给经济建设提供坚强有力的安全保障。战略机遇期是积极争取来的,而不是单纯“保”来的。在国防实力不如人的情况下,我们仍敢于“亮剑”,“打”出几十年的战略机遇期,现在我们的国防实力今非昔比,某些国家不要低估我们维护国家主权的实力和意志。
    其二,误认为“和平崛起”就意味放弃战争。差矣!和平崛起不等于挂免战牌,不等于“岛礁换和平”。战争有正义与非正义之分,非正义战争,我们坚决反对,正义战争,我们大胆应对。“和平崛起”与“非和平”崛起的最大区别并不在于“打不打仗”,而在于“为什么打仗”。凡是掠夺战争就是非正义的,凡是保家护土的战争就是正义的。别人的领土,我们寸土寸水都不要;但自己的领土,寸土寸水我们都不能丢。
    其三,误认为“搁置争议”,就是放弃主权。差矣!主权问题不容讨论,小平同志说,“我们要始终把国家的主权和安全放在第一位”,即主权至上。我们提倡用和平手段通过外交谈判来解决国际争端,但问题是人家不跟你和平谈判怎么办?人家不搁置争议怎么办?南海问题再也搁置不起了,南海资源被掠夺一些就少一些,我们要给子孙后代的可持续发展留下一些宝贵资源。笔者建议,解决南海问题的政策主张要与时俱进做一些调整,将“搁置争议,共同开发”调整为“积极解决争议,以我为主共同开发”。
    其四,误认为“不打第一枪”就是等着被动挨打。差矣!“打第一枪”有战略上“第一枪”和战术上“第一枪”之分,菲律宾侵犯我领土在先,菲律宾军舰登临我渔船在先,这就是在战略上打“第一枪”,它要为此付出代价,决不能让开这个先例,好像挑衅完了就没事了,经过一番谈判又回到原点。只有让挑衅者明晰“失大于得”,它才能知难而退,否则,试探中国“底线”将成为儿戏。
    黄岩岛事件给我们提供了一个机会,我们要大张旗鼓地对外宣传,黄岩岛是我们的,我们在南海问题上是最大的受害者,我们完全有理由维护自己的主权和领土完整。很难想象,其他大国能容忍像菲律宾这样的国家登临搜捕本国渔民。在南海的执法维权斗争中,我们完全可以做到“有理有利有节”。把菲律宾立国的“三个条约”公诸于众,就可以看出,在上世纪90年代末之前,它的西部国境线从来没有超过东经118度。这是有理。我们把中菲的综合实力做一个对比,菲律宾老百姓就会知道,与中国作对到底是利大还是弊大。如果菲律宾想舍弃未来的发展机会,那我们奉陪。这是有利。我们只要对外宣布我们只是收复失地,绝不觊觎别国领土,就会得到国际社会理解,这是有节。如此“有理有利有节”的事,何乐而不为?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMR2YSR3YNHF6HJRP6GJP4KKQQ Justforthe

      “do not underestimate the strength of safeguarding national sovereignty and will”  — so that is why you’re bullying us? pathetic.

  • Juan Miguel Tanjuakio

    China was part of Mongolia, theres a map to prove that.
    So Mongolians own “juan yan?” Island?

  • simbian

    if fisherman can claim islands, because they think they discover it, then fisherman should be the richest in the world.

  • resty144

     I very agree with senator Angara that with or without china we shall go to the ITLOS.

  • http://twitter.com/tkboy tkboy

    No negotiations, only war on the territorial issue!

  • Sebastianne

    Good article! Lets bring this issue to ITLOS and show them this map… Scarborough belong to us, Filipinos!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WOJKEHU4WDIXWTVH527TZ4GVOY BlueHornet

    bring back the U.S. Bases in Subic

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