By Amb. Albert Del Rosario Date: September 23, 2020
We welcome the fact that President Duterte invoked the 2016 Arbitral Award won by the Philippines against China regarding the South China Sea at the 75th UN General Assembly (UNGA). This is the first time that our President addressed the UNGA and we are heartened to know that he is not at all impervious but listens to the will of his countrymen.
We also welcome President Duterte’s statement that he supports the “increasing number of states that have come in support of the Award”—and this include the US, France, Germany, UK, Australia and others.
By invoking the Arbitral Award, the President has acted more faithfully to our Constitution, which mandates him and our military to secure our country’s sovereignty and protect our lands and seas.
The next step is for our President and his administration to put in reality the invocation of the Arbitral Award: our Government should work earnestly to get the support of more countries so that the Arbitral Award will be raised more emphatically next year, for the UNGA 2021.
We hope that this puts to rest the misconception that bringing the Arbitral Award to the UNGA is re-litigating the case. All Filipinos should now unite so that that the world will help our country enforce the Arbitral Award against China. Let us not allow this opportunity to be put to waste.
We deeply thank you, Mr. President, for defending what is ours. END