Filipino experts call on Beijing to stop damage in South China Sea
By JC Gotinga, CNN Philippines / August 12, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario — two of the key voices in the country’s maritime case against China — are calling attention to the ecological damage in the South China Sea.
Nearly 13 million square meters of coral reefs in the South China Sea have been turned into artificial islands — that’s five times larger than the size of of Bonifacio Global City in Metro Manila. Thousands of giant clams, sea turtles, and other endangered species have also been poached in the disputed waters.
Carpio and Del Rosario say the massive destruction of the marine environment must stop.
“These realities are not just unsustainable — they are unacceptable,” Del Rosario said during a forum in Manila on Thursday.
Both of them are bothered by China’s continuous militarization of the Spratlys.
“In the past, they violated international law. They continue to violate international law after the award has been passed down so, (it’s) a little bit worrisome,” Del Rosario added.
For his part, Carpio said that he was not surprised, but are “very concerned.”
The Associate Justice stressed that other claimants in the South China Sea must take action to prevent China from causing more damage to the marine environment.
He reiterated a call to declare the Spratlys as an International Marine Peace Park. Read more…