Unclos - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Unclos


Can Duterte order PH withdrawal from UNCLOS? 'Theoretically, yes,' says DFA

Feb 20, 2020 - 4:11 PM

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says the Philippines is party to many important treaties whose fate 'cannot be left to one man no matter how brilliant'

DUTERTE CAN. Foreign Assistant Secretary Igor Bailen of the Office of Tresties and Legal Affairs of the Deparment of Foreign Affairs says the President can terminate treaties on his own on February 20, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

UK, France, Germany ‘concerned’ over South China Sea tensions

Sep 01, 2019 - 12:48 PM

The E3 countries seek to 'underline their interest in the universal application' of the UNCLOS

MARITIME DISPUTE. A Chinese militia vessel identified by the Philippine Coast Guard during a patrol in Scarborough Shoal. File photo courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard

Locsin hits U.S. over sea convention

Aug 22, 2019 - 3:33 PM

'If only the greatest power on earth led by the example of subscribing to UNCLOS, it would be a safer world,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

TOP DIPLOMATS. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr meets with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at the Department of State, December 20, 2018. File photo courtesy of US State Department

High tide or low tide? The question that won us the West Philippine Sea case

Jul 14, 2019 - 11:30 AM

A simple explainer on how the Philippines won its maritime case through a keen understanding of international maritime law

BURIED REEFS. This photo shows the status of reclamation activities in Keenan (Chigua) Reef in the West Philippine Sea as of December 12, 2014. File photo obtained by Rappler

Allow China to fish in PH waters? Panelo cites UNCLOS but forgets Constitution

Jun 26, 2019 - 2:32 PM

While an international agreement cites instances when a country can allow another to fish in its waters, the Philippine Constitution forbids it

PALACE SPOKESMAN. In this file photo, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo conducts his regular briefing for Palace reporters. Photo from the Facebook page of Salvador Panelo

International laws spell out duty to rescue persons at sea

Jun 19, 2019 - 10:19 AM

This duty 'can be considered as another side of the right to life, which every individual enjoys under human rights law,' according to a 2016 paper

Lorenzana starting to sound like China, says Del Rosario

Jul 25, 2018 - 8:18 AM

Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario hits the defense chief for calling the Philippines' Hague victory 'empty'

'ROCK SOLID.' Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario attends the book launch of Marites Dañguilan Vitug's book 'Rock Solid' on July 25, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

[OPINION] Our President may need more help

Jun 08, 2018 - 5:24 PM

Of utmost primacy is the protection of the hard-earned gains of the Filipino people as handed down by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Arbitral Tribunal

PH can ban China in Benham, but not other nations – Carpio

Feb 06, 2018 - 1:12 PM

The Philippines has no valid ground to disallow other member-states of UNCLOS from conducting marine scientific research in Benham Rise, and will be 'violating UNCLOS' if it does so, says Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

CORAL-RICH. Researchers say Benham Bank is rich in corals. Photo courtesy of Dr Hildie Nacorda/UPLB-SESAM

Duterte on open-pit mining, Cayetano on arbitral award, UN Human Rights Chief | Midday wRap

Nov 22, 2017 - 1:16 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Cayetano downplays Hague ruling, says citing UNCLOS enough

Nov 21, 2017 - 9:15 PM

'Ano ba ang arbitral award? Hindi ba UNCLOS 'yun, 1982? O, eh lahat naman ng statement may UNCLOS 1982 eh,' says Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

ARBITRAL AWARD. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says it is enough to cite UNCLOS instead of the arbitral award won by the Philippines against China. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

China should pay and go

May 28, 2017 - 10:00 AM

As China and the Philippines engage in bilateral talks Manila should revisit the South China Sea arbitral award and not sleep on its rights

SLEEPING OVER PH RIGHTS? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing. MPC pool photo

PH can sue China for war threat – Justice Carpio

May 20, 2017 - 3:20 PM

Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario also says China has strongly declared that it is might that will trump what is right

HITTING CHINA. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio (3rd from right) and former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario (1st) both criticize China for threatening war against the Philippines. In this photo, Carpio and del Rosario unveil the 'Mother of All Philippine Maps' during the launch of Carpio's e-book on May 4, 2017. Photo courtesy of IMOA

Duterte 'invited' China, foreign gov'ts to PH waters – Esperon

Mar 29, 2017 - 5:11 PM

What is really so harmful with having a research ship [there]? asks National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr on the presence of a Chinese survey ship in Benham Rise for 3 months

NO BREACH, NO THREAT. National Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr says President Rodrigo Duterte invited ships from foreign countries, including China, in Philippine waters for patrol and research, among others. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

'No threat' in Benham Rise – Esperon

Mar 29, 2017 - 1:21 PM

(UPDATED) Philippine officials cannot say who granted China permit to access Benham Rise, which UNCLOS confirmed as part of the Philippines' continental shelf in 2012

Lorenzana: Navy set to assist further studies on Benham Rise

Mar 24, 2017 - 12:15 PM

The Philippine Navy has acquired a research vessel from the US the BRP Gregorio Velasquez

ANTI-PIRACY PATROLS. Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures during a press conference at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Manila on March 9, 2017. Photo by Noel Celis/ AFP

Philippine Navy sends warship to patrol Benham Rise

Mar 24, 2017 - 8:37 AM

UPDATED Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the navy will now regularly patrol the underwater plateau located in the country s eastern border

HAND-ME-DOWN. The Philippine Navy's most capable warship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is an excess defense article from the US Coast Guard. Rappler file photo Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

FAST FACTS: What you should know about Benham Rise

Mar 18, 2017 - 10:15 AM

The Philippines 13 million hectare territory near Aurora is considered part of the country s extended continental shelf but is not part of the PH national territory

CORAL-RICH. Researchers say Benham Bank is rich in corals. Photo courtesy of Dr Hildie Nacorda/UPLB-SESAM

Duterte shows alarming confusion over Benham Rise

Mar 14, 2017 - 11:44 AM

China s interest in Benham Rise is a problem that President Rodrigo Duterte has to address He can t afford to confuse it with the West Philippine Sea

UNDERWATER PLATEAU. Found near Aurora, the 13-million-hectare Benham Rise is part of the Philippines' continental shelf. Screenshot from a document the Philippines submitted to the UN

What now? AFP modernization in the time of Digong Duterte

Aug 06, 2016 - 10:00 AM

While it may take years even decades to catch up with the military capability of our nearest neighbors the impetus has been initiated and is now moving with its own momentum that cannot be halted abruptly

DFA's Yasay claims he was misquoted on ASEAN

Jul 27, 2016 - 11:15 PM

Please don t put words into my mouth Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr says denying a quote that was confirmed by reporters

TOP DIPLOMAT. Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr holds a news conference on July 27, 2016, about the recent ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vientiane, Laos. Photo by Mark Cristino/EPA

Cambodia: Yasay dropped bid for ASEAN to cite Hague ruling

Jul 27, 2016 - 9:40 PM

The Filipino foreign minister himself decided to remove it and not to mention the ruling Cambodia s foreign ministry spokesman says

NEIGHBORS IN ASIA. Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr (4th from left) links his hands with ASEAN foreign ministers, as well as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (2nd) during the ASEAN-China Ministerial meeting as part of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and related meetings in Vientiane, Laos, on July 25, 2016. Photo by Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Do we let greed continue running the world?

Jul 14, 2016 - 1:00 PM

Once our President makes a decision it will be binding on us on our children and on our children s children I do hope we get the answer right before it is too late

PH-China ruling, Aquino reaction, Sanders endorses Clinton| 12PM wRap

Jul 13, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Watch Rappler’s 12PM newscast with Camille Elemia

‘Victory’ rally in Manila ahead of South China Sea ruling

Jul 12, 2016 - 4:27 PM

Advocacy groups are anticipating a favorable ruling for Manila hours before the arbitral tribunal in The Hague hands down its ruling on the South China Sea dispute

VICTORY? Advocacy groups celebrate an anticipated favorable ruling for Manila in the South China Sea dispute. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Lawmaker to Duterte: Convene LEDAC after PH-China case ruling

Jul 12, 2016 - 2:34 PM

Manalo matalo hindi po matatapos ang hidwaan sa pinag aagawang isla at karagatan says Kabayan Representative Harry Roque

ADVISE TO DUTERTE. Kabayan Representative Harry Roque holds a press conference ahead of the historic ruling on the dispute West Philippine Sea. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

PH-China case, Sanders and Clinton, Tim Duncan | 12PM wRap

Jul 12, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Watch Rappler’s 12PM newscast with David Lozada

Ruling on PH-China case: What's at stake

Jul 12, 2016 - 6:43 AM

The historic case in The Hague goes beyond the right to fish in the disputed West Philippine Sea South China Sea

'DEFEND THE SEA.' A Filipino joins a demonstration in front of the Chinese consular office in Makati City on June 10, 2016, ahead of a historic ruling on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

UN sea law lays down the rules for the planet's oceans

Jul 11, 2016 - 12:55 AM

Take a look at key facts on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS

epa05165512 (FILE) A file picture dated 20 July 2011 and taken through the window of a closed aircraft, shows an aerial view of Pagasa Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea, located off the coast of western Philippines. China has deployed two batteries of sophisticated surface-to-air missile launchers to a disputed island in the South China Sea, news reports said on 17 February 2016. Satellite imagery from ImageSat International showed two batteries of eight missile launchers on Woody Island, part of the contested Paracel Islands, media reported. A US official confirmed that the imagery showed the HQ-9 air defense system, which has a range of around 200km, the report said. The report came as US President Barack Obama met with South-East Asian leaders in California, where they called for 'maritime security' and urged 'non-militarization and self-restraint' by countries in the region. Beijing claims nearly all of the South China Sea, including small islands that are hundreds of kilometers from its southern coast. Four countries in South-East Asia have unresolved territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea, which has important shipping lanes and potential oil and other natural resources. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

The moment of truth in the West Philippine Sea

Jul 10, 2016 - 6:00 PM

What is at stake is not only regional security in Asia but also shared access to global commons in accordance to modern international law

HIGH-CALIBER TRIBUNAL. The arbitral tribunal is led by Judge Thomas Mensah (president, C), the first president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The high-caliber tribunal also includes the following (L to R): Judge Jean-Pierre Cot, Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum, and Professor Alfred H. A. Soons. Photo courtesy of PCA

Beijing to reject Hague ruling on South China Sea case

Jun 30, 2016 - 11:23 AM

Beijing has consistently rejected the tribunal s right to hear the case and has taken no part in the proceedings

File photo from the Permanent Court of Arbitration

Rappler Talk: Surprises from the Benham expedition

Jun 23, 2016 - 3:31 PM

Watch Rappler s interview with marine scientist Marianne Pan Saniano here live

ASEAN ministers express 'serious concerns' over South China Sea

Jun 14, 2016 - 8:10 PM

In a rare diplomatic slap in the face for Beijing – issued on its own territory – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN offers a sharp rebuke over China s actions in the waterway

FUELING CONCERN. New images released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies – such as this photo of Cuarteron Reef – show the extent of China's reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Photo courtesy of CSIS

The contest for international support on the South China Sea disputes

Jun 01, 2016 - 2:52 PM

What the apparent diplomatic contest between the Philippines and China as they vie for international support to their respective positions reveal

File photo from the Permanent Court of Arbitration

PH mulls 'submarine force' amid dispute with China

Mar 30, 2016 - 3:33 PM

UPDATED We might have to undergo various aspects of our own military capabilities that had never been part of our needs says President Benigno Aquino III explaining how Philippine policies have been affected by the row with China

CHINA DISPUTE. President Benigno S. Aquino lll keynotes the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference at the Manila Hotel on March 30, 2016. Photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau

World's nations gather to rescue ocean life

Mar 27, 2016 - 12:02 PM

There is no international treaty protecting marine areas beyond national jurisdiction

PH asserts rights over claim as China deploys missile in disputed sea

Feb 17, 2016 - 7:09 PM

We are also witnessing very aggressive actions by our big neighbor the world’s second largest economy and a nuclear power at that President Aquino says at a forum in Los Angeles

WORLD AFFAIRS. President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council at the Grand Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel on February 16, 2016. Photo by Joseph Vidal/ Malacañang Photo Bureau

US barred from watching PH vs China hearing

Dec 01, 2015 - 2:28 PM

A UN backed tribunal on the other hand allows the UK and 7 other countries to watch the proceedings

OBSERVER DELEGATIONS. Members of observer delegations watch the Philippines vs China hearing at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, from November 24 to 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of PCA

Philippines: China to build ‘Berlin Wall of the Sea’

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario tells a UN backed tribunal: ’What is ours is ours not China’s’

‘GIANT SLAYER.’ The Philippines’ lead counsel against China, Paul Reichler, argues before an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands. Photo courtesy of PCA

PH vs China: Why a win for Manila benefits the region

Nov 28, 2015 - 12:07 PM

Maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal says a ruling striking down China s 9 dash line will be a victory not just for the Philippines but also for other claimant countries

GLOBAL INTEREST. Seven countries send observers to the arbitral tribunal hearings at The Hague on the Philippines' historic case against China. File photo from the Permanent Court of Arbitration

Lawyer Estelito Mendoza: Is PH case vs China 'worth it?'

Nov 27, 2015 - 9:17 PM

Estelito Mendoza says of the Philippine case: I do not believe in filing cases just to gain a reputation I believe only in filing a case if it will bring relief to my client

BRINGING RELIEF? Veteran trial lawyer Estelito Mendoza (right) questions whether the Philippine arbitration case against China will work to Manila's favor if Beijing defies the final ruling. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

Beijing rejects South China Sea arbitration as hearing starts

Nov 24, 2015 - 6:47 PM

Our position is clear: We will not participate to or accept the arbitration says China s Foreign Ministry spokesman

SLAMMING CRITICS. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says Beijing will 'not accept' a judicial arbitration in the disputed South China Sea, which China is claiming in its entirety. File photo by AFP

When the Philippines and China sang, danced on a Manila Bay cruise

Nov 23, 2015 - 10:00 AM

As the Philippines and China sparred over Mischief Reef President Jiang Zemin charmed Philippine officials with his rendition of Western classics during his state visit after the 1996 APEC summit in Subic

Illustration by Alejandro Edoria

Aquino dares China: Take lead in sea row pact

Nov 21, 2015 - 3:50 PM

President Aquino says Beijing must ensure the swift establishment of a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea given its growing economic and political clout in the region

TAKE LEAD. President Benigno S. Aquino III listens to the discussions during the 27th ASEAN Summit Plenary Session at the Conference Hall 2 of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on November 21, 2015. Photo by Gil Nartea/Malacañang Photo Bureau

PH vs China: Round 2 in The Hague set Nov 24-30

Nov 10, 2015 - 10:52 PM

The Philippines aims to demolish – once and for all – China’s expansive claim over the West Philippine Sea South China Sea

TEAM PHILIPPINES. A powerhouse team represented the Philippines in The Hague, Netherlands, during the first set of hearings on Manila's case against Beijing from July 7 to 13, 2015. The Philippine delegation is set to return to The Hague from November 24 to 30, 2015, to argue the merits of the Philippines' case. Photo courtesy of PCA

China to benefit from following arbitration ruling – Justice Carpio

Nov 06, 2015 - 11:30 AM

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says China s global ambitions will make it costly for Beijing to defy an international arbitration ruling favoring the Philippines

'SAVING FACE.' Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says Beijing cannot afford to defy an international ruling on the South China Sea arbitration case. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

Carpio: 'Tribunal totally ignored China's 9-dash line'

Nov 05, 2015 - 9:06 PM

The Supreme Court justice says the UN backed tribunal did not consider the 9 dash line which China uses to claim almost the entire South China Sea

'NO EFFECT.' Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says China's 9-dash line has no effect on the tribunal's initial ruling on Manila's South China Sea case. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

Breaking down the Philippines’ legal victory in the West Philippine Sea

Nov 01, 2015 - 10:17 AM

By unanimously voting in favor of exercising jurisdiction on the Philippines’ case the Arbitral Tribunal effectively rejected Beijing’s efforts to sabotage Manila’s laudable legal effort

FIRST VICTORY. File photo of a hearing at the Hague in session

Beijing holds defense forum as South China Sea festers

Oct 16, 2015 - 8:46 PM

The disputes have sometimes spilled over into confrontations as vessels from the competing countries spar over fishing grounds and resource extraction rights

PAG-ASA ISLAND. The second biggest island in the disputed South China Sea is home to about a hundred Filipinos. Photo by SSg Amable Milay/Philippine Air Force

PH reiterates 'peaceful solution' amid China military video

Aug 16, 2015 - 6:17 PM

The 4 minute 23 second video showcases China’s vast military power as it featured warships submarines fighter jets and aircraft carriers along its claimed waters

PAG-ASA ISLAND. The second biggest island in the disputed South China Sea is home to about a hundred Filipinos. Photo by SSg Amable Milay/Philippine Air Force