WEST PH SEA ROW | Palace: Best to wait for UN arbitral court’s ruling


MANILA – Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma on Saturday told a Radyo ng Bayan interview that it’s best to just wait for the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal to issue a ruling on the case that the Philippines brought before it regarding the territorial dispute with China.

Coloma’s remarks were made in reaction to China’s move reported on Friday accusing the Philippines of seeking to negate its sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) by describing Taiping, also known as Itu Aba and various other names, the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Isles, as a reef and not an island in Manila’s territorial court case before the United Nations.

Taiping/Itu Aba is among the emerging issues coming into focus as the Philippines challenges the legality of China’s claims to most of the South China Sea asserted through a controversial and largely unexplained nine-dash line on its maps.

“Because the issue forms part of the information filed with the arbitral court,” Coloma pointed out, “it would be better if we wait for the decision.”