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Baselines law not Marcos Jr.’s accomplishment

A recent TikTok video has revived an already debunked claim that President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. authored the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law or Republic Act 9522.

TikTok user solid.bbm.sara posted on May 26 a video asking what Marcos’ accomplishments were and listed RA 9522 as one of them. It said:

He authored Republic Act 9522 or the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law.

The landmark law defines the country’s territorial sea.

Fact checks as early as January 2022 by and Philippine Star, among others, have refuted the claim.

The claim first appeared in Marcos' profile on the Senate website which said he wrote RA 952,, "one of the significant pieces of legislation," while serving in the House of Representatives in 2007, according to the Philstar article last Jan. 18.

It was, however, the late Rep. Antonio Cuenco who principally authored House Bill No. 3216 or the proposed baselines law in the 14th Congress.

Cuenco's version of the legislation was the one that made it to the bicameral conference committee for synthesis with Senate Bill 2699, according to a 2012 press release of the Senate.

While serving as Ilocos Norte's representative in the 14th Congress, Marcos introduced House Bill No. 3969, which also seeks to amend the baselines law so that it complies with the country’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).

But his bill was not included in the final version of RA 9522, which President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed on March 10, 2099. It remained pending with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs when Congress adjourned.

The TikTok video has garnered 2,326 views and 221 likes as of writing. (HM)


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