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PHILIPPINES CLAIM OVER DISPUTED TERRITORIES STRENGTHEN?

MANILA, Philippines - Two days before China comes out with its official maps that highlight territories in South China Sea, which are also being claimed by the Philippines, Spanish Ambassador to Manila Jorge Domecq(photo) said his country is willing to turn over to the Philippines some 70 of the latter's historical maps. 
Domecq made the announcement on Tuesday at the sidelines of the sixth Tribuna EspaƱa-Filipinas, a high-dialogue between the two countries held at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.
During the event, Domecq was asked what could Spain contribute to further strengthen the Philippines' claim over the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) given that Madrid and Manila shared hundreds of years of historical heritage.
Sen. Edgardo Angara also owns a vast collection of Philippine maps dating back to Spanish colonial times, which include an old map showing that Scarborough (Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc) Shoal belongs to the Philippines. China refers to the rock fomation as Huangyan Island. 
According to Angara, it is clear that the shoal was part of the Philippines' cartography during the Spanish colonial area. 
The senator said there is map made in 1734 that shows that Panatag was already part of the Phillippine Islands, which was then under Spanish colonial rule. 
China has been firm on its stand that it owns the entire South China Sea, citing its historical inheritance and the nine-dash-line on its ancient map.
  • But a senior official from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), who requested anonimity for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said that with or without the old maps from Spain, the Philippines would win its case against China.

Source: Agency
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