We should not accept an arrangement that makes it appear that the Philippines is asking permission from China. Under the Philippine Baselines Law, RA 9522, Scarborough Shoal falls within Philippine sovereignty:
"Section 2. The baseline in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as "Regime of Islands" under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):
a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. 1596; and
b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal."
I know this because I was the Chairman of the Technical Working Group of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that crafted the law. The committee chairman was Cong. Antonio Cuenco. If we agree to a wording that makes it appear the Philippines is asking for permission, it will be a violation of RA 9522 and it could kill our position in the still alive dispute over Scarborough Shoal.