Pag-asa Island? Oops, arbitration award ruled it’s just a rock
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Our Pag-Asa Island in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), as well as three other features that Marcos had called islands when he annexed the area in 1978 through his Presidential Decree 1596, are all in the Spratly Islands, which therefore under the arbitral award are not islands but rocks. Islands under UNCLOS are entitled to a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Rocks do not have such a zone, and have only a 12-nautical mile territorial sea. If there had been no such arbitration ruling, we could have argued that Pag-Asa is an island and therefore entitled to an EEZ. This would have extended our existing EEZ, which as of now is measured from baselines in Palawan, and ends near the KIG.
Tiglao, R. D. (2019, April 8). Pag-asa Island? Oops, arbitration award ruled it’s just a rock. The Manila Times, pp. A1, A5.
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Law of the sea; International law; United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea; Territorial waters; Disputes; Exclusive economic zone; International waters; Military operations; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA); Aquino, Benigno III; del Rosario, Albert; Marcos, Ferdinand; Duterte, Rodrigo
- The Manila Times