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Press Release 82-2015

(21 September 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii) To kick start his US speaking tour on the Philippine arbitration case against China on the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio visited Honolulu, Hawaii from 17 to 19 September 2015 to deliver a public lecture entitled, “Developments and Evidence in the Philippine arbitration against China on the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea dispute” at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law (WSRSL) on 18 September 2015.

Around 100 individuals attended the public lecture, including officials from Hawaii government, military officers, members of the consular corps of Hawaii, academe, students, think tanks, media and the Filipino community.

WSRSL Dean Denise Antolini opened the event, emphasizing the significance of the issue not just to the Asia Pacific region, but to the international community. During his one-hour presentation, Justice Carpio discussed the merits, evidence and developments in the UNCLOS Annex VIII arbitration initiated by the Philippines in 2013, which seeks, among others, to invalidate China’s famous 9-dash line map asserting Chinese ownership of the entirety of the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. He also presented developments in Philippine arbitration pending the international tribunal’s forthcoming award on jurisdiction, and took into account policy implications from China’s massive build up of land reclamation activities in the disputed area and the peaceful resolution of the dispute.

Lecture discussant/reactor was Commander Jonathan G. Odom, JAG Corps, US Navy and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) who offered his insights on the issue, and concurred the importance international law-based approach to settling the SCS/WPS dispute.

In the afternoon, Justice Carpio was a guest at ThinkTech Hawaii’s “Asia in Review” segment, a platform for civic engagement via livestreaming talk shows, where he discussed the Philippine arbitration case against China, explaining that its 9-dash line has no basis under international law. He also described the timeline of the arbitration proceedings, stressing his confidence that the decision on jurisdiction will be favorable to the Philippines.
Joining Justice Carpio in the 44-minute interview were Attorney Jay Fidell (segment host). Commander Jonathan Odom and Professor David Cohen, who also provided inputs on the dispute.

In the evening, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu hosted a reception in honor of Justice Carpio, which was attended by close to fifty guests including Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Vice President of the Hawaii Senate Will Espero, Japanese Consul General Yasushi Misawa, Australian Consul General Jeffrey Robinson, Korean Deputy Consul General Sungsoo Kim, New Zealand Deputy Consul General David Treacher, representatives of US Congressman Mark Takai, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, officials and law professors from the University of Hawaii, members of the media, think tank and the Filipino community.

During the open forum, Justice Carpio encouraged the Filipinos to educate themselves on the case and be convinced that what the Philippine is fighting for, and how it is fighting for it is the correct and legal way. He also suggested that Filipinos make use of social promote awareness and common understanding of the dispute. END.