On the Issue of a Joint Investigation into the Recto Bank Incident

Image courtesy: CTTO

The 2016 Hague ruling expressly states that Recto Bank is part of the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and therefore cannot be claimed by China. Having said that, allowing a joint investigation with China and a third party may be interpreted as a waiver of our sovereign rights over Recto Bank.

While the intention of this administration may be laudable in trying to preserve our country’s bilateral relations with China, presumably for political and economic reasons in order to uplift the living standards of our people, we should also consider the more important issue of sovereign rights as expressed in the arbitral ruling.

At the very least, that must be clearly addressed during the conduct of the joint investigation.