DFA expects ruling on West PH Sea dispute anytime soon


SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 11 – The Philippine government expects an international tribunal hearing an arbitration case it filed to invalidate China’s claims in the South China Sea to issue a decision in the coming weeks.

Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose said the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will decide whether the Philippines will keep or lose 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone and 100 percent of it is extended continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea.

Jose said the Chinese government is expected to refuse to recognize a ruling favorable to the Philippines as it refused to take part in the arbitration proceedings

“We expect that China will not recognize (a favorable ruling). We will rely on the international community to convince China to respect the decision,” Jose said during a forum attended by at least 200 representatives of regional and local government agencies on Apr 7 here.

“If China wants to be seen as a responsible member in the international community, then it has to lead by example and follow established laws… especially it is signatory to the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” he added.

Jose added China’s claims of “indisputable sovereignty” over nearly the entire West Philippine Sea as represented by the “nine-dash line” is invalid and not in accordance with UNCLOS which the Philippines ratified in 1984 and China in 1996.

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