MANILA, Philippines — Member states of the United Nations will “trash” the Philippines’ arbitral award, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said yesterday, as he called the statements of support of the European Union (EU) and G7 for maritime rules to be respected a “scrap of paper.”
“UN numbers will trash our Arbitral Award; tested it with NAM (Non-Aligned Movement). Lost. You’re not serious about 28 EU states; they’re dying for Chinese trade and investments,” Locsin said in a tweet. “US is not committed to defend our ships. It is committed to launch WW3 if a navy ship of ours is sunk by China. Vamos a ver.”
Locsin was reacting to a netizen who asked what more the Philippines needs with international law on its side, 28 EU states agreeing on its support, G7 statements calling for maritime rules to be respected, a treaty ally committed to the defense of Philippine ships and a cadre of competent diplomats.
“That’s just a scrap of paper, to quote a famous European,” he said.
The foreign affairs chief was also queried if he asked Philippine diplomats to build a coalition of support or if he asked his foreign counterparts what they are willing to do to back their statements of support as there are no signs of activity from Manila that would advance the country’s interests.
“No need to ask they’re on it. DFA not just verbally committed but enforcing as far as they can the Arbitral Award in every forum. I ordered boycott of NAM in Baku; ASEAN pitched in; Africa and Pakistan kicked the Award. I don’t take it personal. Love my African colleagues,” Locsin said.
“Never ever question the loyalty of the DFA to the country and the national interest regardless of administration. In the UN I led the attack and told career to keep low; I have nothing to lose; they have lots; but still they fight hard and openly,” he added.
On Thursday, Locsin said the Philippines will lose in the United Nations if Manila raises the arbitral ruling in the world body since it is “dominated” by countries “grateful” to China for its “indisputable” generosity in development aid.
While the country can never give up the legal victory, Locsin the Philippines, unlike China, has “nothing comparable to offer” and will never get UN to vote for the arbitral award.
Locsin was reacting to Malacañang’s rejection and presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo’s calling the suggestion of former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario to bring the 2016 arbitral ruling before the UN General Assembly a “futile exercise.”
Del Rosario said addressing the UN General Assembly next week will be an excellent opportunity for the Philippines to seek the help of the international community in compelling China to comply with the 2016 South China Sea ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague.