NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

HERE IS THE PHILIPPINE SEA DOCU POSTED ON P-NOY's FACEBOOK


JULY 7 --REPRINTED HERE FROM FB POSTINGS OF JUNE 15, 2014 - In this July 2014 file photo, President Benigno Aquino III is mobbed as he makes his way to the podium to deliver his State of the Nation Address before a joint session of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file Malacañang is inviting the public to access the government-sanctioned documentary detailing the Philippines’ ownership over some of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, which can now be found on President Aquino’s Facebook page and website. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. advised Filipinos to “watch and share” the documentary “Kalayaan: Karapatan sa Karagatan” to better understand the current maritime issues involving Manila and Beijing. “They can watch it on the Facebook page of President Aquino, which can also be found on the president.gov.ph,” Coloma said. WATCH: Documentary on West Philippine Sea Posted by Noynoy Aquino. It has been reported that the documentary promoting awareness instilling patriotism among Filipinos worldwide in the country’s struggle to maintain its hold over some of the islands in the South China Sea is gaining ground in various social media platforms. “The documentary explains the issues surrounding the maritime conflict and how it could affect the integrity, economy and livelihood of Filipinos over the country’s maritime resources,” Coloma said. READ MORE...CLICK THE LINK FOR THE FULL VIDEO OF THE DOCU LINK BLEOW.

ALSO Flashback Reuters report: China angered by Philippine documentary on South China Sea


JUNE 29 ---Challenges in the South China Sea. Map by Transatlantic Academy SOURCED FROM MARINELINK.COM  BEIJING, June 29 (Reuters) - China on Monday accused the Philippines of spreading misinformation and "creating the illusion of the victim" in their dispute over the South China Sea after Manila aired a three-part documentary defending its position. The first part of the documentary series titled "Karapatan sa Dagat", or maritime rights, was released as the Philippines observed Independence Day on June 12. "The Philippines is attempting to mislead and deceive, gain sympathy by cheating and create the illusion of the 'victim'," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry's website. He accused the Philippines of aiming to incite the people of the two countries. Tit-for-tat rhetorical exchanges between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea dispute have escalated in recent months. Last week, a Defence Ministry spokesman accused the Philippines of trying to draw other countries into the dispute to stir up regional tensions after Japan joined a military drill with the Philippines. The Philippines had said the documentary was intended to inform its people and to rally public support behind government policies and actions. READ MORE...

ALSO Poll: Noy’s sea spat makes China a villain in RP
[Sen. Recto: “Because when China succeeds – through might, not right – in making the West Philippine Sea its exclusive fishpond, it will not only lead to the disappearance of a large chunk of space from our territory, but also fish from our table,” Recto said. “So this is not just a battle about cartography but about calories. What we’re stopping is a Made-in-China food shortage,” the Senate President Pro-Tempore said.“Because when China succeeds – through might, not right – in making the West Philippine Sea its exclusive fishpond, it will not only lead to the disappearance of a large chunk of space from our territory, but also fish from our table,” Recto said.]


JULY 10 ---THE HAGUE HEARINGS: CNN FILE PHOTO  Confidence among Filipinos in China fell to a negative 45 as a result of the current conflict in the South China Sea that the Aquino administration has been drumming up culminating in the arbitration case which the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas (ITLoS) at The Hague is now adjudicating. A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that 62 percent of adults have little trust against 17 percent who have much trust in China, or a net negative 45 classified by SWS as “bad.”  The high-profile delegation of Pressident Aquino to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands opened the second day of hearing with claims on damage to the environment and livelihoods of local fishermen, dealt by massive reclamation activities of Beijing in the disputed waters and its unwarranted claims in the area. In a statement, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said government-hired lawyers explained to the arbitral tribunal the case does not constitute specific exemptions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLoS) which would preclude the tribunal from exercising jurisdiction over the case. The Palace official noted that Professor Alan Boyle presented to the tribunal arguments regarding the strength of the Philippines’ environmental and fishing claims against China following the reiteration of Manila’s plea that the issue “falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.” READ MORE...


ALSO Sea row case: Hearing on jurisdiction of UN court starts Tuesday


JULY 9 ---The Philippine delegation includes (clockwise from top left) Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and former AFP Chief of Staff Manny Bautista. HEADLINE: A high delegation of Filipino officials will attend next week the start of the oral arguments on the Philippines’s arbitration case against China, Malacañang said Friday. PHILSTAR FILE DATED JULY 3, 2015 The Philippine delegation to the United Nations arbitral tribunal will begin its presentation on the country’s petition on South China Sea on Tuesday. The Philippine government filed a petition before the Arbitral Tribunal, based in The Hague, Netherlands, to nullify China’s claim on almost all areas of South China Sea. READ: It’s make or break for PH at The Hague Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the first hearing will tackle the court’s jurisdiction over the matter. It will last for about three hours, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Netherlands, around 8:30, Manila time). READ: PH power team to The Hague; UN tribunal to rule first on jurisdiction Valte, who is with the delegation in The Hague, said Solicitor General Florin Hilbay will open the presentation. “Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will speak on the reason for the filing of the Philippines’ case. READ MORE...

ALSO Still waiting: Appointment of new AFP chief crucial in PHL’s territorial defense –spokesman


JULY 8 ---AFP spokesman Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala FILE President Benigno Aquino III's appointment of a new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief is crucial in the implementation of the military's "transformation roadmap," or its shift to territorial defense amid the country's maritime dispute with China. AFP spokesman Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala said Wednesday that Aquino's choice among the five candidates for the top military post would not only play an important role in the 2016 national elections, but more so on the AFP's transition towards territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea. "Based sa AFP transformation roadmap namin, we’ll be shifting to territorial defense, importante 'yun, and precision, stability," he said. Five contenders for the position to be vacated by General Gregorio Catapang, Jr. on Friday were interviewed by Aquino last week. "The President probably wants to find out 'yung preparedness nila to assume the leadership, 'yung perspective nila so these are the things, 'yung strategic, including yung geopolitical dynamics in the region as well as internal nuances natin dito sa bansa natin," Kakilala said. READ MORE...

ALSO here it is: Hernando Iriberri succeeds Catapang as AFP chief


JULY 10 ---Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri is the new chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In this April 2015 photo, Iriberri visits Fort Shafter, Hawaii to sign a proposed continued commitment agreement with the US Army. USARPAC photo/Kyle J. Richardson/File
Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri was appointed to succeed Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. as the new Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff on Friday.
Catapang is set to retire from service and will turn over the leadership of the 125,000-strong military to its new chief. WATCH: Catapang steps down in AFP ceremony  Iriberri, a member of Philippine Military Academy class '83, commanded the 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija and the 503rd Brigade in Abra. Before his appointment as Army chief, Iriberri commanded the 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija and the 503rd Brigade based in Abra, a traditional election hotspot. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: PH arbitration case is the people’s fight


JULY 7 ---SOURCE: FILIPINOSTARNEWS.NET--Cartoon by Roni Santiago 
LET’S get our perspectives straight on the country’s arbitration case against China as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in the Netherlands holds hearings on the case this week from Tuesday night.
It is a hearing not on the merits of the Philippine complaint but on whether the arbitration court has jurisdiction over the case. It is the PCA, and not the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), that is conducting the jurisdictional hearing, because China’s refusal to take part in the proceedings prompted the need for compulsory arbitration. It is not President Aquino who is the party to this suit, although he instigated and fueled it. Instead, it’s the Filipino people and the Philippine Republic – which means all of us, Chinese-Filipinos included. The international community and the whole world must see that there is no Filipino division or partisanship on this issue. All Filipinos are complainants before the tribunal, seeking recognition and vindication of our nation’s rights under international law. We stand behind our panel  And we all stand behind our panel as they argue our case with all the legal arguments they can muster.  READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

West Philippine Sea documentary on PNoy’s FB


JULY 7 --REPRINTED HERE FROM FB POSTINGS OF JUNE 15, 2014 - In this July 2014 file photo, President Benigno Aquino III is mobbed as he makes his way to the podium to deliver his State of the Nation Address before a joint session of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, JULY 13, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Delon Porcalla - Malacañang is inviting the public to access the government-sanctioned documentary detailing the Philippines’ ownership over some of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, which can now be found on President Aquino’s Facebook page and website.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. advised Filipinos to “watch and share” the documentary “Kalayaan: Karapatan sa Karagatan” to better understand the current maritime issues involving Manila and Beijing.

“They can watch it on the Facebook page of President Aquino, which can also be found on the president.gov.ph,” Coloma said.

WATCH: Documentary on West Philippine Sea

It has been reported that the documentary promoting awareness instilling patriotism among Filipinos worldwide in the country’s struggle to maintain its hold over some of the islands in the South China Sea is gaining ground in various social media platforms.

“The documentary explains the issues surrounding the maritime conflict and how it could affect the integrity, economy and livelihood of Filipinos over the country’s maritime resources,” Coloma said.

READ MORE...

The documentary is a product of Coloma’s PCOO in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It has three chapters, the first of which was shown last Friday, during the celebration of the country’s 117 years of independence.

Dubbed as “Karapatan sa Karagatan,” the maritime and sovereignty awareness video launched by the DFA on the government-run television station PTV-4 last week has been picked up by local and foreign media.

The maritime and territorial awareness documentary also become an instant hit on various social media platforms, including Facebook, and is expected to attract further attention on the mounting maritime conflict in the region triggered by China’s aggressive claim over the whole South China Sea.

The campaign was spearheaded by the DFA to rally support from the entire nation in resolving the maritime row in a diplomatic and peaceful manner.


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China angered by Philippine documentary on South China Sea By REUTERS PUBLISHED: 04:48 GMT, 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 04:48 GMT, 29 June 2015


Challenges in the South China Sea. Map by Transatlantic Academy SOURCED FROM MARINELINK.COM

BEIJING, June 29 (Reuters) - China on Monday accused the Philippines of spreading misinformation and "creating the illusion of the victim" in their dispute over the South China Sea after Manila aired a three-part documentary defending its position.

The first part of the documentary series titled "Karapatan sa Dagat", or maritime rights, was released as the Philippines observed Independence Day on June 12.

"The Philippines is attempting to mislead and deceive, gain sympathy by cheating and create the illusion of the 'victim'," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry's website.

He accused the Philippines of aiming to incite the people of the two countries. Tit-for-tat rhetorical exchanges between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea dispute have escalated in recent months.

Last week, a Defence Ministry spokesman accused the Philippines of trying to draw other countries into the dispute to stir up regional tensions after Japan joined a military drill with the Philippines. The Philippines had said the documentary was intended to inform its people and to rally public support behind government policies and actions.

READ MORE...

Hua's statement added: "China and the Philippines are long-term friends and good neighbours and have shown that they have been able to fully and properly handle the South China Sea issue through friendly consultations."

China has become increasingly assertive in the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, building artificial islands in areas over which the Philippines and other countries have rival claims. The moves have sparked alarm regionally and in Washington.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday that if China changed its position on claims over the South China Sea, it would shame its ancestors, while not facing up to infringements of Chinese sovereignty there would shame its children. (Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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RELATED NEWS FROM REUTERS

Philippines and China in 'video war' over South China Sea Reuters June 11, 2015 6:09 AM


A Chinese Coast Guard vessel (R) passes near the Chinese oil rig, Haiyang Shi You 981 (L) in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam June 13, 2014. REUTERS/NGUYEN MINH

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines will broadcast a three-part documentary to defend its position on the disputed South China Sea on Friday, countering a Chinese television series that laid out Beijing's so-called nine-dash line claims.

The documentary titled "Karapatan sa Dagat", or maritime rights, will be aired on state-run television as the country observes Independence Day.

"Our objective is to inform our people," Charles Jose, the foreign ministry spokesman, said adding they hoped to "rally support of our people behind our Philippine government's policy and action".

The Philippines has filed an arbitration case against China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy resources and where $5 trillion ship-borne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the sea.

In 2013, China's state-run CCTV network aired an eight-part documentary called "Journey on the South China Sea", a rare peak into how Beijing was trying to consolidate its claims in the disputed sea.

The "video war" comes as China rapidly expands its footprint in the South China Sea, constructing at least one airstrip and other military facilities on reclaimed land in the Spratly islands.

Jose said Manila was also planning to release a comic book to raise Filipinos' awareness.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)


TRIBUNE

Poll: Noy’s sea spat makes China a villain in RP Written by Joshua L. Labonera Friday, 10 July 2015 00:00


THE HAGUE HEARINGS --CNN file photo

Confidence among Filipinos in China fell to a negative 45 as a result of the current conflict in the South China Sea that the Aquino administration has been drumming up culminating in the arbitration case which the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas (ITLoS) at The Hague is now adjudicating.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that 62 percent of adults have little trust against 17 percent who have much trust in China, or a net negative 45 classified by SWS as “bad.”

The high-profile delegation of Pressident Aquino to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands opened the second day of hearing with claims on damage to the environment and livelihoods of local fishermen, dealt by massive reclamation activities of Beijing in the disputed waters and its unwarranted claims in the area.

In a statement, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said government-hired lawyers explained to the arbitral tribunal the case does not constitute specific exemptions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLoS) which would preclude the tribunal from exercising jurisdiction over the case.

The Palace official noted that Professor Alan Boyle presented to the tribunal arguments regarding the strength of the Philippines’ environmental and fishing claims against China following the reiteration of Manila’s plea that the issue “falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.”

READ MORE...

Hired foreign experts Lawrence Martin, Professor Bernard Oxman and Paul Reichler fired the opening salvo of the Philippine claims, as Professor Philippe Sands, closed the session by summarizing the submissions of the Philippines presented in the course of the hearings.


The Arbitral Tribunal in Philippines v. China, L to R: Judge Jean-Pierre Cot, Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, Judge Thomas A. Mensah (President), Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum, Professor Alfred H. A. Soons.

Arbitral Tribunal -- The members of the Arbitral Tribunal are: Judge Thomas A. Mensah (President) Judge Jean-Pierre Cot Judge Stanislaw Pawlak Professor Alfred H. A. Soons Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum Party Representatives; The Philippines is represented by: Agent Florin T. Hilbay - Acting Solicitor General Office of the Solicitor General, Makati, Republic of the Philippines; Counsel Paul S. Reichler; Lawrence H. Martin; Foley; Hoag LLP, Washington DC, United States of America; Professor Bernard H. Oxman University of Miami School of Law, Miami, United States of America; Professor Philippe Sands QC Matrix Chambers, London, United Kingdom; Professor Alan Boyle Essex Court Chambers, London, United Kingdom. China has not appointed an agent. In a Note Verbale to the PCA on 1 August 2013, China reiterated “its position that it does not accept the arbitration initiated by the Philippines.” SOURCE http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1529

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario also earlier assailed China’s massive claim in the South China Sea, saying that Beijing’s forceful reclamation work grounded in its nine-dash line and historical claims are not within the UNCLoS.

China and the Philippines are signatories to the UNCLoS but China has caused damage on 311 hectares of coral reefs, amounting to over $352,000 on territories within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.

The survey was conducted from last June 5 to 8. The confidence rating on China is now in its lowest as it surpassed the previous record low of net negative 36 in June 2014, May 2012, and June 1995, which are periods when the maritime conflict between both countries have flared up.

The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents follow closely news reports on “events regarding the conflict between the Philippines and China”.

In contrast, the survey showed respondents gave a “very good” trust rating for United States and good for Australia. The Aquino administration are heavily reliant on the Western alliance led by the United States and Australia in countering the aggressive Chinese moves to assert its maritime claims.

United States, in particular, has been enjoying positive net trust ratings since December 1994, ranging from a moderate net 18 in May, 2005 to an excellent net 82 in December, 2013.

The latest survey showed the United States getting a very good net trust rating of 64.

Similarly, Australia has been scoring positive net trust ratings since April 1995, ranging from a neutral net 3 in September 1995 to a very good net 55 in August 2012.

In June 2015, Australia scored a good net trust rating of 36.

The June 2015 survey also showed neutral trust rating for Saudi Arabia, and a poor grade for Malaysia.

Net trust in Saudi Arabia used to be a poor negative 19 in August, 1994 before it rose to neutral negative 5 in March, 2008. It has since then stayed neutral, with the latest score at negative nine in June 2015.

Confidence on Malaysia started out at a neutral negative 2 in August 1994 before declining to poor and bad levels from December 1994 to March 20018, ranging from negative 37 to negative 16, according to the survey.

It rose to a neutral negative 2 in June 2008, and has since then stayed neutral until the latest score of poor negative 10 in June 2015.

Of the 14 news events tested, the events regarding the conflict between the Philippines and China was the fifth most followed news.

The four most followed news events were The boxing fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (78 percent), The case of OFW Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia (57 percent), The court trial concerning the Pork Barrel Scam of Janet Lim Napoles (57 percent), and events regarding the implementation of the K to 12 program (52 percent).

Talks essential

A militant partylist representative, meanwhile, said Malacañang must exert all efforts and be open to options, including the Chinese government’s invitation for bilateral talks, in settling the country’s territorial disputes with China on contested parts of the South China Sea.

“While it is legally and morally right for the government to take the West Philippine Sea issue to the Arbitral Tribunal of UNCLoS), it should also open its door to other diplomatic means to settle the territorial dispute with China,” Anakpawis Partylist representative Fernando Hicap said in a statement yesterday.

“The government should take it as a positive step that China is offering bilateral talks. We should explore the option,” Hicap added as the Chinese government, that has already previously declared that it will ignore the international tribunal’s decision if ever it favors the Philippines due to China’s “historical” claims, sent feelers inviting Malacañang to talk things over.

The militant solon even asked “if the government is open for business with big Chinese firms to operate in the country, why the close doors for a bilateral talk with China?”

Even before the issue reached the international high court, Hicap saod Anakpawis and fisher folk group Pamalakaya, of which he is the national president, already urged the government to settle the disputes by means of bilateral talks.

Moreover, Hicap also said that even as the Philippine government expects to win the legal battle, there is no guarantee that China will adhere to the international tribunal’s decision and stop its reclamation activities.

“The government should depend on its own initiative to diplomatically resolve the territorial dispute with China. This includes a one on one talk with the Chinese government. The filing of case in the UN tribunal was just only one of the initiatives,” Hicap said.

The last time the Philippines had bilateral talks with the Chinese government was in 2004 under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that Malacañang’s snubbing of Beijing’s invitation is “contrary to good relations.”

“The West Philippine Sea conflict will not end unless the Chinese government sits across the table with the Philippine government,” Marcos said.

Marcos also said it was his late father who had initiated the country’s friendly ties with the People’s Republic of China.

Huge losses from rift


RECTO

If the world will allow China to put up a “no fishing” sign around the Great Wall of Sand it is aggressively building in the West Philippine Sea, it will “starve” Filipinos of a staple in their diet – fish, Sen. Ralph Recto said.

“It will hit us where it hurts most – our stomach,” Recto said.

“There lies the greatest danger of Chinese incursion in our territory. It’s a formula for starvation. More than a national security question, it involves food security,” he said.

“This is the reason, regardless of our politics, that whoever our bet for 2016 is, we should unite in support of our Philippine delegation to The Hague,” Recto said.

“Because when China succeeds – through might, not right – in making the West Philippine Sea its exclusive fishpond, it will not only lead to the disappearance of a large chunk of space from our territory, but also fish from our table,” Recto said.

“So this is not just a battle about cartography but about calories. What we’re stopping is a Made-in-China food shortage,” the Senate President Pro-Tempore said.

Recto said that annual per capita consumption of fish and marine products in the Philippines is about 36 kilos.

Of the 4.705 million metric tons (MT) of fish caught in 2013, commercial fishers contributed 1.067 million MT, while municipal fishermen added 1.264 million MT. The rest, or 2.374 million MT, was raised through aquaculture.

By one estimate, more than three-fourths of total commercial and municipal fishing production came from the rich fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea.
The value of what commercial and municipal fishermen produced in 2013 was about P150 billion.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, one of the eminent persons in the country’s powerhouse delegation to The Hague hearing, in countless lectures, has warned against the disastrous effect of losing our fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea.

“If we lose 80 percent of our Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea, that means we lose 80 percent of the fish we catch annually in the South China Sea,” Carpio said in a recent interview by Rappler.

Recto described the West Philippine Sea as “a nursery, breeding ground” of our fish.

He said China’s push into Philippine water was motivated in part to secure rich fishing grounds that will satiate Chinese appetite for marine products.

“It’s a market of 1.360 billion people, each eating 31 kilos of fish each year,” he said.
Ted Tuvera


INQUIRER

Sea row case: Hearing on jurisdiction of UN court starts Tuesday SHARES: 56 VIEW COMMENTS By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 09:42 AM July 7th, 2015


The Philippine delegation includes (clockwise from top left) Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and former AFP Chief of Staff Manny Bautista. HEADLINE: A high delegation of Filipino officials will attend next week the start of the oral arguments on the Philippines’s arbitration case against China, Malacañang said Friday. PHILSTAR FILE DATED JULY 3, 2015

The Philippine delegation to the United Nations arbitral tribunal will begin its presentation on the country’s petition on South China Sea on Tuesday. The Philippine government filed a petition before the Arbitral Tribunal, based in The Hague, Netherlands, to nullify China’s claim on almost all areas of South China Sea.

READ: It’s make or break for PH at The Hague

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the first hearing will tackle the court’s jurisdiction over the matter. It will last for about three hours, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Netherlands, around 8:30, Manila time).

READ: PH power team to The Hague; UN tribunal to rule first on jurisdiction

Valte, who is with the delegation in The Hague, said Solicitor General Florin Hilbay will open the presentation. “Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will speak on the reason for the filing of the Philippines’ case.

Thereafter, lawyers from Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag, led by Paul Reichler will present the arguments regarding jurisdiction,” she said.

Other government officials who accompanied the group to witness the proceedings are: Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Francis Jardeleza, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Benjamin Caguioa, Sandiganbayan Justice Sarah Fernandez, Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista, and Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevara.

READ: Execs going to Hague with ‘head high’

In an earlier interview, Valte said the country’s legal team prepared a strong case and that they are optimistic that the tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines. De Lima earlier said that a “round one victory” will be a “positive sign for the Philippines’ cause.”

Despite the Philippines’ petition, China, which claims around 90 percent of the South China Sea, has refused to participate in the proceedings.

Inquirer earlier quoted Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Caprio saying that the government could win the case if the tribunal agrees that it has jurisdiction over the case.

He said it was impossible for the tribunal to agree with China’s nine-dash line claim. IDL

READ: Carpio: PH could win case if UN tribunal affirms its jurisdiction


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Appointment of new AFP chief crucial in PHL’s territorial defense –AFP spokesman July 8, 2015 4:58pm 230 18 0 274

President Benigno Aquino III's appointment of a new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief is crucial in the implementation of the military's "transformation roadmap," or its shift to territorial defense amid the country's maritime dispute with China.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala said Wednesday that Aquino's choice among the five candidates for the top military post would not only play an important role in the 2016 national elections, but more so on the AFP's transition towards territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea.

"Based sa AFP transformation roadmap namin, we’ll be shifting to territorial defense, importante 'yun, and precision, stability," he said.

Five contenders for the position to be vacated by General Gregorio Catapang, Jr. on Friday were interviewed by Aquino last week.

"The President probably wants to find out 'yung preparedness nila to assume the leadership, 'yung perspective nila so these are the things, 'yung strategic, including yung geopolitical dynamics in the region as well as internal nuances natin dito sa bansa natin," Kakilala said.

READ MORE...

Kakilala said it is a tight race among Southern Luzon Command's Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Central Command's Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar, Western Command commander Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando DCA Iriberri, and Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado.

"They are all qualified. All their credentials are superb," he said.

The turnover of command will be held on July 10, Friday, a day before Catapang turns 56, the mandatory retirement age for military personnel.

Kakilala said they will not require their personnel to attend the ceremony because of ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) in areas affected by the southwest monsoon as well as Typhoon Falcon.

"Saving lives is given more priority... We have to have more warm bodies sa for HADR operations," he said.

Kakilala said the turnover ceremony, which is traditionally held at the Camp Aguinaldo parade grounds, would likely be held indoors at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club House if the heavy rains persist until Friday.

"With this kind of rain, severe rain, siguro may plan B naman... It will be determined tomorrow siguro, based on the assessment sa weather condition," he said. —Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KBK, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Hernando Iriberri succeeds Catapang as AFP chief By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 10, 2015 - 10:06am 3 849 googleplus0 0


Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri is the new chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In this April 2015 photo, Iriberri visits Fort Shafter, Hawaii to sign a proposed continued commitment agreement with the US Army. USARPAC photo/Kyle J. Richardson/File

MANILA, Philippines - Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri was appointed to succeed Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. as the new Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff on Friday.

Catapang is set to retire from service and will turn over the leadership of the 125,000-strong military to its new chief.

WATCH: Catapang steps down in AFP ceremony

Iriberri, a member of Philippine Military Academy class '83, commanded the 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija and the 503rd Brigade in Abra.

Before his appointment as Army chief, Iriberri commanded the 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija and the 503rd Brigade based in Abra, a traditional election hotspot.

READ MORE...

No less than President Benigno Aquino III credited him for the orderly election in Abra in 2013.

“His (Iriberri) unit was instrumental for the attainment of the most peaceful election in the province of Abra,” Aquino said during Iriberri’s assumption as Army chief on Feb. 7, 2014.

Aquino also revealed in the same speech that Iriberri was known as “Superman” by his colleagues for topping physical examinations.

Iriberri has close ties with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, something that his critics believe gave him an advantage over other contenders.

Iriberri served as Army spokesman when Gazmin was Army chief in 2000. He was also Gazmin’s senior military adviser in 2010.

READ: Sources: Iriberri likely to succeed Catapang as AFP chief


MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL

PH arbitration case is the people’s fight July 7, 2015 10:43 pm


SOURCE: FILIPINOSTARNEWS.NET--Cartoon by Roni Santiago

LET’S get our perspectives straight on the country’s arbitration case against China as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in the Netherlands holds hearings on the case this week from Tuesday night.

It is a hearing not on the merits of the Philippine complaint but on whether the arbitration court has jurisdiction over the case.

It is the PCA, and not the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), that is conducting the jurisdictional hearing, because China’s refusal to take part in the proceedings prompted the need for compulsory arbitration.

It is not President Aquino who is the party to this suit, although he instigated and fueled it. Instead, it’s the Filipino people and the Philippine Republic – which means all of us, Chinese-Filipinos included.

The international community and the whole world must see that there is no Filipino division or partisanship on this issue. All Filipinos are complainants before the tribunal, seeking recognition and vindication of our nation’s rights under international law.

We stand behind our panel

And we all stand behind our panel as they argue our case with all the legal arguments they can muster.

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The high count and high quality of members in the Philippine panel, which also includes, in addition, high-priced American lawyers hired by our government, attest to our confidence in the strength of our case and in the rightness of bringing the case to the United Nations.

Arguments, of course, are not won by numbers in court; it is won by the soundness of arguments. We should feel confident that our panel, with its experience and many official titles, has what it takes to carry the day.

At the very least, the international community should see how much we Filipinos care about this case.

This stands in marked contrast to China’s position, which wavers between indifference and worry. As its policy and strategy, China has made the calculated decision not to participate in the hearings. It has also decided out-of-hand not to accept any decision that will be favorable to the Philippines.

Despite the posturing, China in truth is worried about what could happen in the weeklong hearings.

In a position paper, China questioned the tribunal’s jurisdiction over the matter.

In response and in a little-noticed decision made in April, the tribunal acknowledged China’s objections and announced that a hearing on jurisdiction from July 7-13 would be held first.

This is why our government felt compelled to field a top-level team for the jurisdiction hearings. In the jurisdiction hearings, the burden of persuading the tribunal falls wholly and squarely on our panel. China will not be arguing to the contrary.

In order to fully present our case, which is backed by thousands of pages of historical documents, we must win the jurisdictional issue. The arbitration court must rule that it has jurisdiction over the case.

The hearings will be closely watched by Asian governments and Washington because of the tensions in the South China Sea, especially in the Spratlys.

While professing indifference, China has been following developments in the case closely. Through the Chinese embassy at The Hague, it has established a formal line of communication with the tribunal.

China’s statement that it will reject any ruling favoring Manila does not faze our delegation. One member, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, said before departure for the Netherlands:

“If we win, all those reclamations of China are illegal and China has no right to stay there and China must vacate, but of course there’s the big problem of how to enforce the ruling.”

In that eventuality, the Philippines can then go “to the world community” by sponsoring a resolution at the United National General Assembly urging China to follow international law.

Battle lines are clear

The lines of the jurisdictional battle are clear. If the arbitration court rules that it has jurisdiction on the case, the case moves on to the presentation of the merits of our complaint. That’s where the deep bench of our panel will come in.

On the other hand, if the PCA rules negatively, then that’s the end of the arbitration case; we return to square one – and to the hard reality of China’s massive reclamation works in the disputed area, which are of grave concern to the US, Japan, the European Union and the Association of southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Raising alarm over China’s actions in the disputed areas and its illegal claim to all of the South China Sea has been the chief objective of our diplomacy in this dispute. In this objective we have succeeded to some extent.

Clearly, this is a David-vs-Goliath struggle, if reckoned in military and economic terms. But on the diplomatic and public-relations front, David has a potent slingshot, with many friends rallying behind him.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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