The Palawan State University through the PSU School of Law held a lecture on October 3, 2014 regarding the legal issues involved in the territorial stand-off between the Philippines and China. The special guest speaker for the event was Hon. Francis H. Jardeleza, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Held at the Legend Hotel Palawan, the event was attended by Palawan Vice-Governor Dennis Socrates, PSU University President Dr. Jeter Sespeñe and the University Officials, PSU School of Law Dean Atty. Perry Pe, law practitioners and professors from all over Puerto Princesa, representatives from different government departments, and students from the PSU School of Law.
Justice Jardeleza elaborated on the legal strategies being utilized by the Philippines against China in the territorial dispute for the West Philippine Sea, or South China Sea, as the latter continues to declare as such.
The Philippines is employing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, otherwise known as “UNCLOS” to legally back its claims on the territories involved. UNCLOS is an international agreement resulting from the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, held between 1973 and 1982. Simply put, UNCLOS provides for the rights and responsibilities of nations with regards to the use of the world’s oceans. According to Jardeleza, China continues to use the “nine-dash line” claim on the West Philippine Sea, which relies on a dated map which, according to China, shows the area of water under the country’s ancestral domain. The execution of UNCLOS overwrites such claims.
In a message at the event, President Sespeñe praised Justice Jardeleza for the unending efforts of Philippine officials and lawmakers in ensuring that the Philippines has rightful claim to the areas in the West Philippine Sea. The President also commended Dean Pe and the School of Law for enabling such an event to be held in Palawan.