DFA chief sees arbitration ruling on sea row with China in May

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Wednesday said he expects the Netherlands-based arbitral tribunal to hand down a ruling on a Philippine complaint against China’s massive claim in the disputed South China Sea in May.

Manila’s case, filed in January 2014, challenged the validity of China’s sprawling territorial claims in the resource-rich waters and sought to clarify the territorial entitlements of certain Chinese-occupied features under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

“We hope that the decision will come out before May. We don’t know what the chances of that might be but it looks doable from where we sit,” Del Rosario said during his annual luncheon for journalists in Manila.

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