Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Thursday, August 11, that the Philippines can file yet another case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) if the country wants to seek monetary compensation from China for the damages they caused in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines won over China in the maritime dispute, based on the ruling made by the PCA released last July 12, even if China rejected the ruling.
Carpio talked about the possibility of getting monetary damages from China, which was not among the points discussed in the first case, at a forum on the environmental effect of the sea row.
“We can file a new case to quantify the damages that we are entitled. That has not been resolved because we did not pray for it,” Carpio said.
Aside from the potential compensation, Carpio also discussed plans for the Spratly Islands to be converted into a marine protected area to prevent further damage in the West Philippine Sea.
The idea was first suggested by American marine biology professor John McManus.
Just like what he previously talked about, Carpio suggested that all the countries that claimed ownership over the group of islands suspend their claims for 50 to 100 years to turn the area into an international marine reserve.
“The proposal is that all claimant states to suspend claims for 50 to 100 years and declare Spratlys a marine protected area. All geographical features will be declared fish sanctuary up to three nautical miles,” he said.
Former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario also spoke about the damage to the coral reef in the area due to what he called as China’s “Great Walls of Sand.”
Del Rosario suggested that the Philippines turn to neighboring countries to create a regional plan in managing the West Philippine Sea’s marine resources.
“The Philippines should look for ways to cooperate with our neighbors to preserve marine ecosystems in the South China Sea and to ensure the sustainability of fishing resources for everyone,” he said.
Carpio and del Rosario are members of the Philippine delegation sent to The Hague, Netherlands who defended the country’s stance over the dispute with China.