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EXECUTIVE SECRETARY The demarcation of a boundary line amounts to laying down by

July 16, 2011 means of boundary pillars, monuments or buoys, and
permanent erections of other kinds, along the topographical
FACTS: conformations of the territories to be separated by it.
In 1961, RA 3046 was passed, demarcating the
maritime baselines of the PH as an archipelagic state.
It remained unchanged for 5 decades.
In 2009, the Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting
RA 9522, the statute subject of this case. Demarcation line refers to the boundary of a specific area. This
o The change was prompted by the passage term is commonly used in international law. It is a provisional
of UNCLOS III, which prescribes the water-
border having the function of separating territories under
land ratio, length, and contour of baselines
of archipelagic States like the different jurisdictions.
Philippines and sets the deadline for the
filing of application for the extended
continental shelf
Complying with these requirements, RA 9522:
1) shortened one baseline, Generally, a maritime boundary is delineated through a
2) optimized the location of some basepoints
particular measure from a jurisdiction's coastline. Although in
around the Philippine archipelago and
3) classified adjacent territories, namely, the some countries the term maritime
Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the boundary represent borders of a maritime nation[3] and are
Scarborough Shoal, as regimes of islands recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
whose islands generate their own applicable Sea, they usually serve to identify international waters.
maritime zones.
Regime of islands are islands that are naturally
formed areas of land, surrounded by water,
which are above water at high tide.
Under the regime of islands doctrine, the
islands will generate their own maritime RA 9522 dismembers a large portion of national
zones. Rocks which cannot sustain human territory
habitation or economic life of their own shall
have no exclusive economic zone or continental
shelf. That RA 9522 dismembers a large portion of the national
Petitioners assail the validity of RA 9522 on the territory because it discards the pre-UNCLOS III demarcation of
following grounds: Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and related
1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime treaties, successively encoded in the definition of national
territory, and logically, the reach of the territory under the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions -
Philippine states sovereign power, in UNTENABLE
violation of Article 1 of the 1987
Constitution, embodying the terms of the
Treaty of Paris11 and ancillary treaties, and
2) RA 9522 opens the countrys waters
landward of the baselines to maritime
passage by all vessels and aircrafts, That this constitutional definition trumps any treaty or statutory
undermining Philippine sovereignty and provision denying the Philippines sovereign control over
national security, contravening the countrys waters, beyond the territorial sea recognized at the time of the
nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine Treaty of Paris, that Spain supposedly ceded to the United
resources, in violation of relevant
constitutional provisions.
Respondents defended RA 9522 as the countrys
compliance with the terms of UNCLOS III, preserving
Philippine territory over the KIG or Scarborough
ISSUE: WON RA 9553 is unconstitutional. NO.
HELD: UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or
loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty regulating, among
1) sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial
RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines],
2) contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines],
Countrys Maritime Zones and Continental Shelf Under
3) exclusive economic zone [200 nautical miles from the
UNCLOS III, not to Delineate Philippine Territory baselines]), and
4) continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits.

UNCLOS III was the culmination of decades-long

negotiations among United Nations members to codify
norms regulating the conduct of States in the worlds oceans
The delimitation of a boundary refers to all the proceedings and submarine areas, recognizing coastal and archipelagic
connected with the determination of a boundary line in a States graduated authority over a limited span of waters and
treaty, an arbitral award or a boundary commissions report as submarine lands along their coasts.
the case may be. A boundary line may be delimited as either
the watershed or the crest line of a particular mountain range IN THIS CASE, baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by
or as the median of a named river UNCLOS III States parties to mark-out specific basepoints
along their coasts from which baselines are drawn,
either straight or contoured, to serve as geographic starting
points to measure the breadth of the maritime zones and
continental shelf.
Scarborough Shoal, NOT inconsistent with the
THEREFORE, baselines laws are nothing but statutory Philippines Claim of Sovereignty Over these Areas
mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with
precision the extent of their maritime zones and Use of regime of islands weaken our territorial claim
continental shelves. In turn, this gives NOTICE to the rest of That RA 9522s use of UNCLOS IIIs regime of islands framework
the international community of the scope of the maritime to draw the baselines, and to measure the breadth of the
space and submarine areas within which States parties exercise applicable maritime zones of the KIG, weakens our territorial
treaty-based rights, namely: claim over that area
1) the exercise of sovereignty over territorial waters
(Article 2) UNTENABLE: A comparison of the configuration of the
2) the jurisdiction to enforce customs, fiscal, baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522
immigration, and
3) sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33),
and The configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA
4) the right to exploit the living and non-living resources 9522 shows that RA 9522 merely followed the basepoints
in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and mapped by RA 3046, save for at least nine basepoints that
continental shelf (Article 77 RA 9522 skipped to optimize the location of basepoints and
adjust the length of one baseline (and thus comply with
UNCLOS IIIs limitation on the maximum length of baselines).
PH territory embraces all waters within rectangular area
That the Philippine territory embraces the islands and all the
waters within the rectangular area delimited in the Treaty of

Under RA 3046, as under RA 9522, the KIG and the

Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the baselines drawn
around the Philippine archipelago. This undeniable cartographic
HELD: fact takes the wind out of petitioners argument branding RA
9522 as a statutory renunciation of the Philippines claim over
the KIG, assuming that baselines are relevant for this purpose.
The baselines of the Philippines would still have to be drawn in
accordance with RA 9522 because this is the only way to
draw the baselines in conformity with UNCLOS III. The
baselines cannot be drawn from the boundaries or other
portions of the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of Exclusion of KIG and SS resulted in loss of territorial
Paris, but from the outermost islands and drying reefs of waters
the archipelago That the KIGs (and Scarborough Shoals) exclusion from the
Philippine archipelagic baselines results in the loss of about
15,000 square nautical miles of territorial waters, prejudicing
the livelihood of subsistence fishermen

NOTE: UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role
in the acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners claim,
diminution of territory.
UNTENABLE: IT in fact increased PH total maritime space

On the contrary, RA 9522, by optimizing the location of

basepoints, increased the Philippines total maritime space
(covering its internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive
economic zone) by 145,216 square nautical miles

RA 9522s Use of the Framework of Regime of Islands

to Determine the Maritime Zones of the KIG and the