Why this businessman spent nearly P12-M to bolster the Philippines’ UN case vs China
The Philippine government will be submitting to the United Nations Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in The Hague this week an almost 300-year-old map of the Philippines showing the disputed Scarborough Shoal being part of Philippine territory as far back as three centuries ago.
The map debunks the so-called nine-dash-line China has been using as proof of its claim over the South China Sea. It also locates Scarborough shoal, then known as “Panacot,” also called “Panatag” by Filipinos, off the shores of Luzon, then known as Nueva Castilla. Scarborough shoal has been a source of conflict between the Philippines and China.
The Jesuit priest Pedro Murillo Velarde had the map published in Manila in 1734. It surfaced in 2012 among the possessions of a British lord, who put it up for auction at Sotheby’s in London, where Filipino businessman Mel Velarde bid and got it for £170,500 ($266,869.46 or P12,014,463.09).
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