Philippine Baselines Law, Constitutional – SC
According to a Manila Times source, a unanimous voting was made by the SC en banc on Tuesday.
exercises sovereignty but only for the purpose of defining or establishing from what points the breadth of maritime areas over which
a state has sovereign or jurisdictional rights are measured.
In addition, it was argued that that R.A. 9522 could no longer be enjoined through an injunction order because the said law was immediately forwarded to the United Nations through the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
The petition states that R.A. 9522, which was an amendment of R.A. 3046 (the old Baselines Law), practically redefined the Philippine territory as having a roughly triangular shape, excluding much of the waters that were previously within the territory defined by the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which described the territory as rectangular about 600 miles wide and 1,200 miles long.
The international law professors argued that it also converted the country’s internal waters into “archipelagic waters” through standards under the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that uses the straight baselines method in delineating the national territory.
Under the existing law, UNCLOS mandates that states can exercise the rights of innocent passage and archipelagic sealanes passage over archipelagic waters. An example of this would be alien ships including nuclear-powered ships and other ships carrying weapons-grade nuclear substances and even aircrafts of all kinds can pass through and over archipelagic waters in a continuous, expeditious, and unobstructed manner.
As to the Kalayaan group of islands claim including the Spratlys, they stressed it would weaken the Philippines claim over these islands.
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