Gov’t stresses need for rule of law, peaceful resolution of sea disputes


MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Sunday stressed the need to respect whatever decision will be made by the United Nations (UN) tribunal on the Philippines’s complaint against China following an assessment by an American think tank that Manila would likely get a favorable ruling on the case.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said respecting the ruling would ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion worth of international trade passes through every year.

“At the recently concluded special ASEAN-US summit, President Aquino called upon all countries who believe in the rule of law and in peaceful dispute resolution to follow and abide by the decision of the UN arbitral tribunal on the PH petition,” Coloma said.

“Such call, if heeded, will serve to promote the primacy of freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea and in all international sea lanes as this is essential to the continuous flourishing of global trade and commerce,” he added.