(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte told the United Nations General Assembly that the Philippine government is standing firm in its “commitment in the South China Sea” including the 2016 Arbitral Award which invalidated the “nine-dash line” claim of China on the South China Sea.
Speaking during the High-Level General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President Duterte said that the Philippines is standing firm on its claim in the disputed seas since the 2016 Arbitral Ruling is “now part of international law.”
President Duterte even said that the award is already “beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”
The arbitration case was brought by the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
-2016 Arbitral Ruling beyond reach of passing gov’ts, says Duterte-
“The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” President Duterte said.
“The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” he told the UN assembly.
“We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” he said.
The 75-year old Philippine leader also said that he welcomed the support coming from other nations for the Philippines regarding its win in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against China.
The Arbitral Ruling, he said, represented the “the triumph of reason over rashness” and of “law over disorder.”
“We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for — the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This – as it should – is the majesty of the law,” Duterte firmly said in his participation in the UN High-Level General Debate.
This is so far the most-strongly worded stance the Philippine leader had made about the controversial arbitral ruling that had been consistently rejected by China.
Duterte had said before that he had been pressing this ruling with China only to be dismissed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The last time that he pressed Xi on the Philippine victory in the Hague ruling was during his visit to China in August last year.
President Duterte, before going to China then told then Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the China visit was “the right time” to invoke the ruling.
But Xi had dismissed the Philippine claim again.
This time, on Sept. 22, the Philippine president stressed before UN General Assembly that the country’s victory in its claim on South China Sea is now part of the international law and should be respected by all countries, making its position known before the highest international body.
(Eagle News Service)