Arroyo okays new RP baselines

The new baselines law takes the place of a 1961 statute and complies with a United Nations treaty, giving Philippine territory international recognition, officials said.

Republic Act 9522 stipulates that disputed territories such as the Spratly Islands or the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and Scarborough Shoal are not part of the main archipelago, but are still owned by the Philippines as a “regime of islands” — much like Hawaii is owned by the United States although not part of the mainland.

“We are sending the message to the whole world that we are affirming our national sovereignty and protecting our national interest. This is the right thing to do,” Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita told Palace reporters.

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