Sue China over suspected reclamation in Escoda Shoal — Carpio

Sue China over suspected reclamation in Escoda Shoal — Carpio

/ 09:27 AM May 13, 2024

Underwater photo of damaged reef in West Philippine Sea

SORRY SIGHT | A recent survey conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Escoda (Sabina) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea shows the destruction of the coral bed in the area, which has been blamed on the Chinese. (Photo from the Philippine Coast Guard)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should file a case against China over the suspected island building in Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Monday.

Carpio said this latest development should be included in the case being prepared against China over the destruction of corals in Escoda Shoal and Rozul Reef, first reported in September 2023.


“We should file a case now,” Carpio said over ANC.


“The DOJ (Department of Justice) has been preparing a case against China precisely for damage to the marine environment in Escoda Shoal and Rozul Reef,” he continued. “We should file that, to give attention and focus on this illegal island building by China, [and] put this on the world agenda.”

Last year, Carpio also said the country could recover damages for the destruction of coral reefs in Rozul Reef and Sabina Shoal, adding that this settlement could still be collected should China refuse to pay by offsetting the amount from its loans from Beijing.

READ: PH can sue China for WPS reef, coral damage — Carpio

Beijing asserts sovereignty in the entire South China Sea—including most of the West Philippine Sea—despite the July 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling, which effectively invalidated its claims based on a case filed by Manila in 2013.

Carpio then said the Philippines should continue to patrol Escoda Shoal and Rozul Reef “for 24 hours every day” and even invite its allies to patrol there to prevent China from conducting such activities.

“We should also ask our allies to jointly patrol with us near Reed Bank, in Escoda Shoal and Rozul Reef, because Rozul Reef and Sabina Shoal are the two nearest geologic features where China could prevent us from developing Reed Bank,” Carpio said, also noting that there are possible oil and natural gas reserves in Reed Bank.


“We have to be there in Escoda Shoal 24 hours a day and send our navy and our coast guard there to patrol regularly and prevent construction by China,” he added.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said the suspected reclamation activities in Escoda Shoal have already been “deterred” by the presence of a Philippine Coast Guard vessel there.

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TAGS: China, Escoda Shoal

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