PHL can file new arbitral case vs. China for damages, Carpio says

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Protesters rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Makati City on Tuesday, denouncing China's claim to most of the West Philippine Sea including areas claimed by the Philippines. The protest comes as a UN tribunal in the Hague begins a hearing the Philippines' claim on the disputed Spratly Islands.(MNS photo)

Protesters rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Makati City on Tuesday, denouncing China’s claim to most of the West Philippine Sea including areas claimed by the Philippines. The protest comes as a UN tribunal in the Hague begins a hearing the Philippines’ claim on the disputed Spratly Islands.(MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Philippines can file a new case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration if the it desires to receive monetary reward for the damages China caused in the West Philippine Sea, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday.

At a forum on the environmental impact of the West Philippine Sea dispute, Carpio said the country did not receive monetary damages from China because it was not included in the first case filed with the arbitral tribunal.

“We can file a new case to quantify the damages that we are entitled. That has not been resolved because we did not pray for it,” he said.

Carpio also pushed for the declaration of the Spratly Islands as a marine protected area to prevent further environment degredation in the West Philippine Sea.

He proposed that all claimant countries in the group of islands suspend their claims for about 50 to 100 years to establish the protected area.

“The proposal is that all claimant states to suspend claims for 50 to 100 years and declare Spatlys a marine protected area. All geographical features will be declared fish sanctuary up to three nautical miles,” he said.

At the same forum, former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario said the so-called “Great Walls of Sand” China made in the disputed waters led to the permanent loss of coral reef in the area.

Del Rosario urged the Philippines to call on its neighbors to develop a regional framework in managing the marine resources of the West Philippine Sea.

“The Philippines should look for ways to cooperate with our neighbors to preserve marine ecosystems in the South China Sea and to ensure the sustainability of fishing resources for everyone,” Del Rosario said

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