PNoy expresses elation
over U.N. Tribunal’s decision to hear Philippines’ case against China
Eastern Samar, Oct 31 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III said Friday he is
glad that the Permanent Court of Arbitration has decided to accept the
Philippines’ case against China on the South China Sea dispute.
During an interview here, the President said that with the tribunal’s
decision, the Philippines overcomes the initial challenge in its case
against China—to determine whether the international arbitral tribunal has
jurisdiction over the case.
“Napakatuwa natin na sinabi nitong tribunal na ito na meron nga silang
jurisdiction, at doon sa press release na nabasa ko kanina, inaasahan na ang
pangalawang mga tanong ay baka magkaroon na sila ng desisyon as early as
next year,” he said, noting that had the court ruled otherwise, the case
would no longer proceed.
“’Yung mabilis na kilos, medyo masalimuot ‘yung talakayan dito pero masasabi
natin talagang sino ba naman ang hindi matutuwa na talagang parang umiiral
‘yon ngang tinatawag na rule of law.”
Asked how the ruling would affect Philippine-Chinese relations, President
Aquino said he expects it to clarify things, especially on the rights and
obligations of both countries under the United Nations (UN) Convention on
the Law of the Sea.
“Kapag wala nang malabo, maliwanag ang ating mga dapat sundin, at hindi ba
magiging paraan ito para mas maging maaymagazine ng ugnayan ng isa’t isa,”
On whether China would respect the recent developments, the President said
that although China has refused to participate in the proceedings, the
tribunal took into consideration the country’s position paper on the
The President said the tribunal had asked both parties, who are signatories
to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to obey the convention.
He also said he hopes the ruling would not affect China’s participation in
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum that is being hosted by
The South China Sea issue is not the entirety of Philippine-Chinese
relations, he emphasized.
President Aquino further said that when he attends the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Malaysia next month, he will once
again push for the conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
He said he would remind fellow leaders in the ASEAN that after agreeing on
the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and
the meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2012, there is a need to conclude the
Code of Conduct.
“‘Ang boses na ating ibabahagi ... na talagang dapat yata may urgency na
matapos natin ang usapan at nang magkaroon tayo ng Code of Conduct. Isang
bahagi ito doon sa ating interventions na gagawin sa ASEAN,” he said. (PCOO