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About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

Click on the slide!

About the Philippines

The Philippines, in southeastern Asia, consists of 7,107 islands lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has made the Philippines…

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Mr. Henry S. Bensurto Jr. is the Philippine Consul General to San Francisco, USA.

A career diplomat, lawyer, teacher and former student activist, Mr. Bensurto is one of the Philippines’ leading experts on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and West Philippine Sea (WPS)/South China Sea (SCS) issue.

Prior to his posting in San Francisco, Mr. Bensurto served as Assistant Secretary of the West Philippine Sea Center in the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary-General of the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs, a Cabinet-level coordinating body on the Law of the Sea and other maritime issues.

Mr. Bensurto initially conceptualized ZOPFFC or, Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation in 2009 as a politico-legal framework for resolving and managing disputes in the SCS which became the core of Philippine engagement with ASEAN and China beginning in 2010. ZOPFFC’s core principles later on formed part of the overall Philippine Legal Approach in the country’s 2013 arbitration case against China. The Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague ruled on 12 July 2016 in favor of the Philippines against China.

Mr. Bensurto’s “distinguished and successful involvement in the Philippine’s suit against China before the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague,” has earned him the 2016 Torch Bearer Award from the Philippine–American Press Club-USA.

For his work on ZOPFFC and the protection of the WPS, Mr. Bensurto received the Presidential Award from President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2013. He likewise received a Presidential Award from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2010 for helping shepherd the passage of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law in 2009. He also helped shepherd the submission of the Philippine Extended Continental Shelf over the Benham Rise before the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Mr. Bensurto has been a speaker on the UNCLOS and South China Sea issues in various domestic and international fora. He has also written various articles on international law.

In 2017, Mr. Bensurto was awarded the most distinguished alumnus on Public Service and Good Governance by the University of the Philippines (UP). In the same year, Mr. Bensurto was also given recognition with Malate Catholic School’s Alumni 100% Malatean Award for his outstanding achievements and valuable contribution to the community.

Mr. Bensurto is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines, having earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (minor in Economics) in 1985 and the San Beda College of Law, where he finished law in 1990. He pursued further Graduate Studies overseas and finished (Foreign Service Programme) from Oxford University in 1996 with a Distinction in Public International Law. He has a Diploma on the Law of the Sea at the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, Rhodes, Greece; and a Certificate on National Security at the Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia School of Law, at Charlottesville, VA. He also attended short-term courses on International Trade Law and Human Rights Law at the Georgetown Law Center and American University in Washington DC.

He is married to Ms. Ann Mariza Sanchez-Bensurto, and has a son, Henry Matthew Bensurto.