JEAIL > Volume 6(2); 2013 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2013

The Philippine Claim to Bajo de Masinloc in the Context of the South China Sea Dispute

Lowell B. Bautista
School of Law, University of Wollongong, Australia
Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Philippine claim to Bajo de Masinloc, otherwise referred to as Scarborough Shoal, finds solid basis in international law. The territorial claim of the Philippines over Bajo de Masinloc is strong relative to the claim of China as well as with respect to the principles on the acquisition of territory in international law, in particular, on the basis of effective occupation. The sovereign rights and jurisdiction asserted by the Philippines over the maritime entitlements of the features in Bajo de Masinloc are founded on principles of international law and consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both the Philippines and China have signed and ratified. This paper aims to examine the Philippine claim over Bajo de Masinloc particularly focusing on the 2012 standoff between the Philippines and China and the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea.

Keywords : Philippine claim, Scarborough Shoal, Bajo de Masinloc, South China Sea

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