Maritime Law


An UNCLOS-based Durable Legal System for Regional Maritime Security and Ocean Governance for the Indo-Pacific Maritime Region (An enhanced maritime awareness agenda for the Maritime Forum)

Introduction The maritime issues under consideration in this article relates to the establishment of a legal order and durable regional ocean governance mechanism addressing non-traditional maritime security concerns, initially concentrated on the South China Sea giving prominence to a narrowed ASEAN-China context, but eventually extrapolated to a large maritime setting that is the seas of the ASEAN and the Central…


Understanding the Language of the Law of the Sea

With the disputes concerning the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea and recently, the issues surrounding Benham Rise, we see how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC)1 affects the maritime entitlements of the Philippines. It is indeed imperative for the Philippine state, a maritime nation, to…


On the Philippines’ Chairing ASEAN in 2017

The Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. (PAFI) urges the Philippines to seize the opportunity presented by its chairing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2017 when ASEAN celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding to assert and project a leadership role in the construction of regional ocean governance and maritime security as a Philippine contribution to the ASEAN Community…


Maritime Law Enforcement in the Philippines

Maritime law enforcement maybe broadly defined as the coordinated efforts by government enforcement agencies to prevent, detect and suppress violations of maritime laws and their concomitant rules and regulations. This definition intentionally excludes the other pillars of law enforcement such as the court, rehabilitation centers and the community and focuses on the people duly authorized to enforce the law in…


UN Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Ruling on South China Sea

THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ARBITRATION (The Republic of the Philippines V. The People’s Republic of China) The Hague, 12 July 2016 The Tribunal Renders Its Award A unanimous Award has been issued today by the Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the “Convention”) in the arbitration instituted by the Republic…


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Strategy: National Security Scenarios for Post-Election Period

In the 112th Maritime Forum, I responded positively to the proposal of a former Undersecretary of National Defense, Atty. Fernando Campos to discuss Strategy. He suggested discussing “National Security Scenarios for the post-election period.” Campos was also a former Governor of Cavite and a former Congressman of Cavite. He sent me his discussion paper, THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHILIPPINES:…


Joint Development on the West Philippine Sea

During the China-ASEAN Dialogue between Senior Defense Scholars held at Beijing, China on 11 – 15 March 2008, I presented a paper on Confidence-Building Measures Towards Greater Regional Stability. Military modernization in China was being perceived in a way that caused concern to some countries which fear a repeat of the arms race during the Cold War on one hand…



US President Obama speech to US and Filipino soldiers at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Philippine Vulnerabilities in its Rift with China

“[Beijing is] building a Great Wall of sand over islands claimed by several countries. China’s pattern of provocations toward smaller claimant countries on the basis of the sweeping 9-dash Line which is inconsistent with international law, and the wide asymmetry between China’s capabilities and of her weak neighbors, raises serious questions about Chinese intentions.”


G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Continuing Uncertainties

Part I: MILITARY DANGERS AND ECONOMIC RISKS “War is the worst option. Peace is the common goal of all mankind…” — Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” Taiwan’s major newspaper, China Post’s headline on 06 April augured bad news for all of mankind because it announced a huge rise in military spending by countries around the world, thus: “Global military spending…


South China Sea/West Philippine Sea Dispute

About half of the world’s seaborne trade passes through the South China Sea (SCS) valued at US$5.3 trillion annually. The SCS dispute has the potential to overturn the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the constitution for the earth’s oceans and seas. For the Philippines, at stake in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) are: (1) 80%…