Statement on the South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China)

Photo from the webpage of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

Photo from the webpage of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration is a very big win for the Philippines, and I believe the Court applied letter and spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in its decision. Since the Juridical Regime of Historic Waters is not among the maritime zones under the UNCLOS, China cannot invoke the nine-dash-line clam as a valid legal basis for its maritime expansion in the West Philippine Sea.

Nonetheless, the ruling does not settle the entirety of the dispute as it involves claims to islands, which is beyond the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

We should return to the negotiating table with China, take advantage of the ruling of the Court, and settle once and for all the issue of conflicting claims within the Spratly Islands.

The decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration itself will facilitate an early settlement of the issue because none of the islands can generate an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles, which will make the process of negotiation a lot easier.

Charter change will not help poor

Congress of the Philippines

Congress of the Philippines

Charter change will not help poor
Originally published on July 6, 2016 10:30 pm
by Llanesca T. Panti, The Manila Times

Charter change will not help poor – lawmaker

Amending the 1987 Constitution to implement federalism— a system wherein regions will be self-governing under a federal government—will not solve widespread poverty, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque issued the statement in light of the filing of Davao del Norte Pantaleon Alvarez’s House Resolution No. 1 that seeks to revise the 1987 Constitution through Constitutional Convention (ConCon) composed of regionally elected and appointed delegates. In his proposal, Alvarez claimed that federalism “will make the form of government more responsive to the needs of the nation.”

But Roque said only three regions have enough resources to stand on their own — the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 3 and Region 4.

“I don’t see how this Charter Change would benefit the poor. There is poverty, so government resources should be used for the benefit of the poor, regardless of the form of government. There is the problem of corruption, so corrupt officials should be ousted, regardless of the form of government,” Roque said in a news forum.

“They say we have had enough of Imperial Manila? Under federalism, only the NCR, Region 3 and Region 4 will survive. In that situation, the rest of the regions will rely on the subsidy from the federal (central) government. And where would the federal government get that subsidy? The NCR. So, that would be a contradiction of that we are trying to achieve here because you will burden the NCR,” he added.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda however countered that Charter change should be done to install federalism and address the Muslim and New People’s Army insurgencies.

With the insurgency and corruption spanning decades, Salceda said Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and even domestic investments have stagnated and limited job opportunities.

“We don’t have enough investments because these insurgencies indicate political instability and lack of [effective] governance. With Charter change, we can have federalism and address these two problems; attract good investments that result in more labor demand,” Salceda, an economist, pointed out.

But for Roque, there are available and less expensive mechanisms to empower the local government units under the existing Presidential form of government.

He cited his proposal granting the Palawan provincial government a 40 percent share in the Malampaya natural gas plant revenues, as well as increasing the Internal Revenue Allotment for local governments.

“Let’s not spend P6 billion for a plebiscite [on whether the people are in favor of Charter Change] and another P3 billion for the Con-Con. Why not spend that instead on a national feeding program?” Roque said.

“This is a wastage of our scarce resources,” he added.

Maligayang pagbati, Onesimo!


Maligayang pagbati sa mga nagtapos sa mga programa ng Onesimo Foundation!

Dumalo si Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa graduation ceremonies ng Onesimo Foundation.

“Sa lahat ng aking mga layunin at adbokasiya, ang Onesimo Foundation ang isa sa mga pinakamalapit sa aking puso. Ang Onesimo ay isang faith-based organization na tumutulong sa mga urban youth. Ang organisasyon na ito ay itinaguyod namin ng aking kaibigan na si Chris Schneider halos dalawang dekada na ang nakalipas. Si Chris ay isang Swiss na tapat ang pagmamahal at paglilingkod sa mga Pilipino. Nagsi More →

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KABAYAN sa Kalibo

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Mayad-ayad nga hapon, Kalibo!
Saeamat sa inyong pagtanggap sa Team KABAYAN Party List!
Pangabay iboto KABAYAN Party List, #30 sa inyong balota!

#KABAYANPartyList #30KABAYANPartyList #HarryRoque

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Atty Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Cauayan, Isabela 4March2016

Naimbag nga bigat yu amin, Cauayan!
Salamat sa inyong pagtanggap sa KABAYAN Party List. Agyaman kami apo!

Sumama po kami nang dumalo si UNA standard bearer Jejemar Binay sa kanyang probinsiya, Isabela.

Pakiboto po KABAYAN Party List, #30 sa inyong balota!

#KABAYANPartyList #30KABAYANPartyList #HarryRoque

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Pakiboto po KABAYAN Party List, #30 sa balota

#KABAYANPartyList #30KABAYANPartyList #HarryRoque

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Bar topnotcher Rachel Miranda (first on the left) with the rest of the members of the University of the Philippines Moot Team that won the 2015 Oxford Price Moot Court Competition in Oxford, UK on March 28, 2015: Pauline Gairanod, Apessa Chungalao, Macel Sen More →

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Magandang tanghali, Mariveles! Mainit po pero maalwan ang tanghali dahil sa inyong pagtanggap sa amin.

Bumisita po kami sa Mariveles at umikot sa ibang bahagi ng Bataan kasama si United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, Jejomar Binay.

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