Scarborough shoal also known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc is located at the west Philippine Sea. It is under the naval territory of the Philippines since it is inside the Philippine Sea. It is known as a “Treasure Island” for some that’s why it’s being owned by countries that want to obtain the natural resources it has especially oil. According to an IReport of the CNN Philippines, it says that, “ There are three maps presented for the Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal and these were: 1.)Carta Hydrographical y Chorographical De Las Yslas Filipinas by Fr. Pedro Murilo Velarde, S.J. and published in 1734; 2.) 11792 drawn by the Alejandro Malaspina expedition and published in 1808 in Madrid, Spain.It was reproduced in the Atlas of the 1939 Philippines Census; 3.)Mapa General Islas Filipinas, Observatorio de Manila published in 1990 by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. These maps are all inside the Philippine territory and therefore said that it is the right of the Philippines to own the shoal.
Beginning of the Stand Off: Why? How?
Many arguments and debates had been occurring these past few days regarding to the rights of having the shoal. The standoff to have the shoal started on April 10, 2012 between the China and the Philippines. China has been stating that they own the Huangyan Dao; the name of the Scarborough Shoal in China, China said that the Philippines started the conflict for on 2009; the Philippine government passed the Philippine Archipelagic Baseline Law asserting jurisdiction over Scarborough Shoal. Assuming that there will be progress because the said conflict up reached the ASEAN (Asssociation of the South East Asia Nations). Philippines and China signed Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) dated on July 6, 1996; which states that anything within 200 miles from the baseline of a country belongs to that country. In this case China is 500 miles away from the shoal compared to Philippines that are 124 nautical miles away from the shoal. This shows this is another point for the Philippines to have the jurisdiction for the Panatag shoal. On April 11, 2012, the Philippine Navy shipping vessels stopped and had boarded Chinese fishing vessels. Having said enough, the Chinese has been deep-fishing to the shoal so the Philippine Navy arrested and filed the Chinese fishermen crew poaching. This provoked the Philippines to strive hard to protect the shoal as their property and on the other hand the China is also doing so. China has been stating all over again that Philippines started it but they’ve been wandering and deep-fishing to the shoal without any consent from the Philippines. The Philippines do not own the shoal as of now and so the China so having self-desires and intentions to the shoal the China has been showing, it’s China who triggers the Philippines to stand up it’s right.