Unclos is way to go to settle Spratlys dispute, says DFA chief


Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has asserted anew that abiding by the rules set by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) is the legitimate way of resolving conflicting and overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Del Rosario reiterated this in Manila Tuesday while a conference at Montego Bay, Jamaica, was being held to mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Unclos by 159 UN member-states, including the Philippines.

On May 8, 1984, the country became the 11th state to ratify the international agreement, which entered into force on Nov. 16, 1994.

In a statement issued in Manila, Del Rosario said Unclos “has never been more important to the Philippines than today when overlapping maritime claims threaten as never before the peace and prosperity in our part of the world.”

“The Philippines believes that the rules-based approach in Unclos, together with the norms in the UN Charter and international law, are the way forward in addressing in a just, peaceful and lasting manner the maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

The DFA chief noted that Unclos is the “international law governing the rights and responsibilities of nations—big, as well as small, rich or poor, coastal and landlocked—in their use of the world’s oceans.”

“It enshrines the norms that determine the rights of states over maritime areas and contains important mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes on matters relating to the oceans,” he emphasized.

According to Del Rosario, “together with our commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Unclos this year, we are also commemorating this year the 30th anniversary of the UN Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1982.”

“This is another historic and important document, particularly at this time when the Philippines is exerting every effort to address and resolve conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

For over four weeks now, Manila and Beijing have been engaged in a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal, located some 220 kilometers west of Zambales province.

The Philippines calls the shoal Bajo de Masinloc and Panatag Shoal while China refers to the rock formation as Huangyan Island.

Del Rosario pointed out that Chinese ships were “currently engaged in illegal activities in Bajo de Masinloc.”

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  • AFPako

    Lolo Del Rosario, pls ang weak mong tingnan. At nagpalimus ka pa sa mga ibat ibang bansa. Pls dont give them the impression we are the sick man of Asia. That should be China during Mao’s time. Now that has been passed on to us bec of corruptions and greed in govt. Diyos ko po. Pres Noy , palitan ninyo itong si Del Rosario. Choose one that s young and smart and vibrant, not some oldie and frail . 

  • Andrew Teh

    Ang tanga ng mga opisyal natin sa Aquino govt.. o nagtatanga-tangahan dahil walang magawa laban sa mga chinese.. at election na ang pinagkakaabalahan.. Hindi na illegal fishing ang ginagawa ng mga chinese dun kaya di na pinapayagan makalapit un mga fishermen natin at pati na rin un Coast Guard at BFAR boat.  eh magtatayo na ng structures dun un mga chinese at panay ang deliver ng construction materials at equipment.. GOODBYE SCARBOROUGH!!!!!  

  • Zhmz Shorthouse

    after stealing next door’s properties, then pretend innocent and beg someone else come in to pause the game…oh my god..where are you guys when such kind of misconducts were carried out… not only Huang yan island, but also other 9 of such kind… if you cannot hold it, why steal in the first place..

  • sh1seadad

    Unclos is way to go to settle Spratlys dispute peace is the answer.

  • bahog_itlog

    Confrontation is way to go to settle Spratlys dispute, says China

  • opinyonlangpo

    Yeah sure. Diplomacy is the only means the Philippines can settle this issue. Its a sorry state of Philippine affairs.

  • AFPako

    E google nyo ang video sa Youtube entitled, China invade Vietnam in Spratley’s . Pinarakrak nila ang mga Vietcongs sa katubigan ng Paracel Islands noong 1988. Walang naiwan na VC,  Pls sa mga commanders namin sa Campo Aguinaldo, pakihatid naman yung mga bala namin sa M 14 rifles, huwag ninyo ibebenta sa kalabanng MILF bec of greed !

  • to0

    Puro Unclos unclos itong ungoy na si Del Rosario. JUST DO IT! Blah blah blah. Dapat, na file na ito matagal na. That’s what our government gets from listening to the enemy. China objected that 3rd party will intrude to these conflict, and our Chinese Dominated Government listened. Now, what does PNoy say, our Fisherfolks are banned from entering the shoals, our geodetic ships are being bussed by Chinese Fighter Airplane, and any moment now, the Chinese will tow a big, bigger than our Q.C. Memorial moneument oil rig that will extract oil and gas on that area. Yabang, empty rethorics, false hope, puro diplomacy ang sinasabi ng ating Chinese Dominated Government, e, ang China is already doing a concrete move. Ha! Mr. President, resign ka na kasama si Mar Roxas. Si Roxas ang bugaw mo, skaw mangligaw ka na lang ng magligaw. But, when it comes to national interest, ZERO KA!

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