Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DFA is positive Philippines will win in arbitration case vs China’s reclamation of WPS atolls

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 30): DFA is positive Philippines will win in arbitration case vs China’s reclamation of WPS atolls

With the oral argument next week on the adjudication case the Philippines has filed with the arbitration tribunal over China’s alleged violation of the code of conduct of claimant countries in the West Philippines Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reiterated the national government is positive it will win.

"We are quite confident that we will get a favorable decision both on the issue of jurisdiction and merits of the case," DFA spokesperson Asst. Sec. Charles Jose told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) exclusively on Tuesday at the Multi-Sectoral Forum on the West Philippines Sea Issue held here.

China has reclaimed the vast expanse of the West Philippines Sea, including features the country cover under its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that both countries are signatories.

In 2013, the Philippines lodged the case against China with the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal. It submitted its 4000-page memorial, its written argument, on March 30, 2014, which it supplemented on March 16, 2015.

The arbitral tribunal set the deadline on December 15, 2014 for China to submit its counter-memorial, but failed to do so.

Jose said the Philippines legal team, headed by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, will set to defend the case from July 7 to 13 at The Netherlands-based UN court.

"It will be more of an elaboration, clarification no'ng dalawang memorial na sinumite natin, but we will be more focusing on the issue of jurisdiction (… of the two memorial we submitte…)," said Jose.

And if China would not heed on the UN court decision, in case it would favor the Philippines, Jose said: "It will be up to the international community to convince China that it would be to its best interest to follow the decision."

Jose furthered that China's shying away from the ruling will be counter-productive to its country as it may affect other foreign policy initiatives it will enter or have entered into.

"Let's say other countries will see China is not following the rules of the game, will they still play the game with someone that does not know how to follow rules? China has very important initiatives – foreign policy initiatives – are they going to allow this issue in the West Philippines Sea to undermine that?” he asked.

Jose said the court decision is expected to be announced between the months of January to April 2016.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.