G.R No. 187167 August 16, 2011PROF. MERLIN M. MAGALLONA, AKBAYAN PARTY-LIST REP. RISA HONTIVEROS,PROF. HARRY C. ROQUE, JR., AND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OFLAW STUDENTS, ALITHEA BARBARA ACAS, VOLTAIRE ALFERES, CZARINA MAYALTEZ, FRANCIS ALVIN ASILO, SHERYL BALOT, RUBY AMOR BARRACA, JOSE JAVIERBAUTISTA, ROMINA BERNARDO, VALERIE PAGASA BUENAVENTURA, EDANMARRI CAÑETE, VANN ALLEN DELA CRUZ, RENE DELORINO, PAULYN MAYDUMAN, SHARON ESCOTO, RODRIGO FAJARDO III, GIRLIE FERRER, RAOULLEOSEN FERRER, CARLA REGINA GREPO, ANNA MARIE CECILIA GO, IRISH KAYKALAW, MARY ANN JOY LEE, MARIA LUISA MANALAYSAY, MIGUEL RAFAELMUSNGI, MICHAEL OCAMPO, JAKLYN HANNA PINEDA, WILLIAM RAGAMAT,MARICAR RAMOS, ENRIK FORT REVILLAS, JAMES MARK TERRY RIDON, JOHANNFRANTZ RIVERA IV, CHRISTIAN RIVERO, DIANNE MARIE ROA, NICHOLASSANTIZO, MELISSA CHRISTINA SANTOS, CRISTINE MAE TABING, VANESSA ANNETORNO, MARIA ESTER VANGUARDIA, and MARCELINO VELOSO III,Petitioners,vs.HON. EDUARDO ERMITA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON.ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OFFOREIGN AFFAIRS, HON. ROLANDO ANDAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OFTHE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HON. DIONY VENTURA, INHIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL MAPPING & RESOURCEINFORMATION AUTHORITY, and HON. HILARIO DAVIDE, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY ASREPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THEPHILIPPINES TO THE UNITED NATIONS,Respondents.D E C I S I O NCARPIO, J.:The CaseThis original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails theconstitutionality of Republic Act No. 95221(RA 9522) adjusting the country’sarchipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline regime of nearby territories.The Antecedents- In 1961, Congress passed Republic Act No. 3046 (RA 3046)2demarcating themaritime baselines of the Philippines as an archipelagic State.3- This law followed the framing of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the1
Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I),4codifying, among others, the sovereign rightof States parties over their "territorial sea," the breadth of which, however, wasleft undetermined. - Attempts to fill this void during the second round of negotiations in Geneva in1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile. - Thus, domestically, RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five decades, savefor legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA 5446]) correctingtypographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in NorthBorneo.- In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statutenow under scrutiny. The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046compliant with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS III),5which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984.6- Among others, UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour ofbaselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines7and sets the deadline for thefiling of application for the extended continental shelf.
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Law, Territorial waters, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS III