A 300 years old map played a role in the Philippines winning the arbitration case versus China. It may be a small role, but it’s a very significant one.
The Pedro Murillo Velarde Map of 1734 was one of the documents submitted to the United Nation Arbitral Tribunal to help support the position of the Philippines, that the West Philippine Sea and the reefs, resources within the 200 miles EEZ or Exclusive Economic Zone rightfully belongs to us, and not to China.
China asserts their “nine–dash-line” historical claim that almost all of the South China Sea belongs to them since their fishermen have use the whole area years and centuries ago including the much coveted Panatag Shoal or Scarborough Shoal, which lies just 80 miles off Zambalez. By UNCLOS Law, this area is ours as it is well within our rights of the 200-miles EEZ.
Now, the Philippines Murillo Map published by Jesuit Priest Pedro Murillo Velarde in 1734 clearly indicates that Panatag belongs to the Philippines Territory and has been recognized as such by the Spanish Government of that time.
This map measures 1,120 by 1,200 mm and is officially called Carta Hydrographia y chorogphica de las Ylas Filipinas, Manila 1734.
It is plain on the Murillo Velarde map, which most now acknowledged as “Mother of All Philippine Maps”, that the area especially Panatag Shoal that China insists belong to them is pure baloney. It belongs to our country, it is Philippine territory.
Where the Map was found?
The Philippines Murillo Velarde Map was among 80 heirlooms auctioned off by the current Duke of Northumberland, Ralph George Algernon Percy in Sotheby’s London last November 4, 2014.
And we have businessman and NOW Corporation CEO Mel Velarde to thank for the repossession of the map by a Filipino. He acquired it after winning in the Sotheby’s bidding for £170, 500.00 or Php 10,705,306.00 in today’s exchange rate.
Certified true copies have been made of the original map. The first certified true copy was given to Malacanang, through former President Aquino last June 12, 2015, during the Independence Day Celebration. Mr. Velarde kept reproduction of the original.
So where is the original? Mr Velarde decided to donate it to the National Museum. The original agreement was for Velarde to bid on the auction, and then later on the National Museum will buy the map off from him. But the National Museum does not have the funds to buy the map last year or any time soon, so Mr Velarde did the next best thing, donated it instead. Kudos, Sir! Maraming Salamat!
Read the full story on the Murillo Map through Vera Files, the main source of this article.
This Murillo Map has also been submitted to the United Nations Arbitration Tribunal to help support the claims of the Philippines on the West Philippines Sea.
Just yesterday July 12, 2016, The United Nations Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in The Hague has confirmed our claims to the West Philippine Sea in an overwhelming unanimous vote in favor of the Philippines. We won the case versus China, thanks in part to the Murillo Velarde Map.
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