Philippines’ legal victory in South China Sea recalled in new book
MANILA — The Philippines’ landmark victory against China in the South China Sea in 2016 is recalled in a new book launched Tuesday.
“The South China Sea Arbitration: Understanding the Awards and Debating with China” is written by international relations scholar Dr. Alfredo C. Robles Jr., jointly published by De La Salle University Publishing House and Sussex Academic Press in the United Kingdom.
The book was released on January 22, the same day six years ago that the Philippines formally notified China that it is taking the sea dispute to international court.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, one of the leading figures in Manila’s arbitration victory against China, said the book was an “informative, edifying and analytical piece which is a ‘must read’ for all Filipinos who love our country.”
“It is as well essential reading for all our friends around the world who have manifested interest in the most critical security in our region,” he said in his remarks.
Former President Benigno S. Aquino III also attended the book launch.
“Under the president’s mandate to defend what is ours, we were ultimately tasked to seek — as a last resort — a lawful and lasting resolution to the South China Sea disputed after all other peaceful means had been fully exhausted,” Del Rosario said.
The ruling, which came down on July 12, 2016, declared China’s nine-dash-line claims in the strategic sea route as invalid.
“Our arbitral victory was our contribution to the world in helping to promote an international rules-based system towards fostering peace, stability and prosperity for all,” the former Foreign Secretary said.
One of the things detailed in the book was how China used disinformation and propaganda to weaken Philippines’ victory in the arbitration case.
It was also revealed how China tried to influence the court without the knowledge of the Philippines; how it dismissed the verdict; and how the judges were not impartial.
The book also includes maps and tables about the geographical features in the South China Sea, as well as the consequences of its island building in the Spratly Islands.
“This well-researched writing is about a modern Goliath whose intentions, declarations and actions are to force a doctrine of dominance on our region and beyond,” Del Rosario said.
“At day’s end, Dr. Alfredo Robles Jr. has written a book about who we are as Filipinos…When confronted by a bullying Goliath, no Filipino would naturally want to be described as a willing victim nor as an abettor.”
“Dr. Robles courageously speaks truth to us, and challenges us to stand for this conviction: that at all times right will prevail over might,” he added. /kga
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