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Where in the World is the Philippines?

Debating Its National Territory

Rodolfo C Severino

Publication Year: 2010

'Where in the world is the Philippines?' is a question that has been deftly and consistently dodged by our politicians at the expense of clearly defining the Philippines' territorial and maritime jurisdictions. Severino's scholarly work lays out what has happened in the past and what must be done in the future - and does so just as newly elected President Benigno S. Aquino begins his term in office. With the help of this timely and comprehensive study, it is imperative that Aquino and the Congress confront and resolve territorial issues once and for all.-- Roberto R. Romulo, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The Philippines was, and in my mind still is, an ardent supporter of the development of the concept of archipelagic states in the Law of the Sea. The Philippines, together with Indonesia, Fiji, and Mauritius, participated actively in the first meeting of the...

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Carlos P. Romulo and the CPR Foundation

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pp. xi-xiv

Carlos P. Romulo was a Filipino soldier, journalist, diplomat, author and educator who devoted his life to global peace and security. A basic truth that General Romulo expressed throughout his life, again and again, is that peace can be achieved...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-4

Where in the world is the Philippines? In other words, where does the Philippines have jurisdiction? Of what kind? Where does that jurisdiction end? Because the Philippines is an archipelago, that is, a nation of many islands, these questions...

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2. The Colonial Legacy

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pp. 5-25

Before the Spanish exploration and conquest of what was to become the Philippines, most of the people of the islands lived in barangays, communities named after the boats in which their ancestors are said to have sailed from across the seas. Although such...

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3. The Territory of an Independent Nation

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pp. 26-38

After the Philippines gained its independence from the United States on 4 July 1946, it continued to live under the 1935 Constitution, with its definition of the national territory. It did so until the promulgation by President Ferdinand E. Marcos of a new Constitution...

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4. The Claim to Sabah

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pp. 39-65

On 22 January 1878, Sultan Jamalul Alam of Sulu executed a document, “with the expressed desire of all Datus in common agreement”, leasing (according to the English translation from the Malay in Arabic script used by the Philippines, but “grant and...

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5. The South China Sea

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pp. 66-104

The Treaty of Peace with Japan, signed in San Francisco on 8 September 1951, states in its Article 2, “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel Islands,” which Japanese forces occupied just before and during World War II and from which they launched attacks on other countries in the...

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6. Philippine Maritime Jurisdiction and UNCLOS

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pp. 105-120

On 11 November 1967, Arvid Pardo, Malta’s permanent representative to the United Nations, delivered a lengthy presentation to the First Committee (political and security) of the UN General Assembly. In that presentation, Malta, a small island...

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7. What Next?

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pp. 121-124

A December 1991 “roundtable” in the Philippines recommended, among other things, “The Philippines should resolve ambiguities in Philippine law and practice towards a clear-cut, consistent and well-grounded definition of our national territory and maritime boundaries.”1 As discussed in the previous chapters, although Manila...


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pp. 125-131

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About the Author

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pp. 132

Rodolfo C. Severino is the head of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and a frequent speaker at international conferences in Asia and Europe. Having been Secretary-General of the Association...

Territorial Maps [Image Plates]

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E-ISBN-13: 9789814311724
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814311717

Page Count: 132
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

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Subject Headings

  • Philippines -- Boundaries.
  • Territory, National -- Philippines.
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