Arbitral tribunal hearing on PH case vs China kicks off


DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The arbitral tribunal hearing of the territorial dispute case brought by the Philippines against China has officially begun, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Tuesday.

DFA assistant secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters that a draft set of rules to govern the proceedings has been approved and has been sent to both the Philippines and China for their views.

“The Philippine Government is pleased that the Arbitral Tribunal is now formally constituted, and that the arbitration process has begun,” Hernandez said.

On the first meeting of the Tribunal last July 11, it “approved a draft set of Rules of Procedure to govern the proceedings and sent it to the parties for their comments which were requested by August 5, 2013,” he said.

The Philippines will be represented by lawyer Paul Reichler as lead counsel while the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) will be headed by the government’s representative.

“The DFA and the OSG have pledged their fullest cooperation with the Tribunal, in order to assure a fair, impartial and efficient process that produces a final and binding judgment in conformity with international law,” Hernandez said.

The Philippines has filed a complaint before the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (Unclos) against China over several cases of intrusion into the country’s exclusive economic zone by its navy and fishing vessels.

China claims the entire South China Sea including the West Philippine Sea as part of its territory and has been sending Maritime Surveillance and fishing ships into Philippine waters, particularly in Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag Shoal or Scarborough Shoal).

The DFA previously said that China was taking a hard-line stance against the Philippines which made bilateral talks with Beijing almost impossible.

China has also previously stated that it does not want to participate in third-party arbitration proceedings, insisting bilateral talks.

When asked what would happen to the arbitration proceedings if China refuses to submit comments, Hernandez said that the case will proceed.

“With or without China’s comments, the case will proceed,” he said.

“If they really do not comment then our pleadings will take prominence in the case but having said that the judges will still look at the merits of the whole case,” Hernandez said.

The DFA reiterated that China’s territorial claim over the entire sea is illegal and against the Unclos.

“We brought this case because we feel that we have a big advantage considering the provisions of international law particularly Unclos,” Hernandez said.

“It has always been our position that the 9-dash line claim of China has been expansive, excessive, and illegal as far as the international law is concerned,” he said.

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  • zdrx

    if the ruling is in favor of china…do we have to jump up and down, roll on the floor in protest? we have to grit our teeth and accept it…it is us who filed the case in the first place. LOL.
    but if the ruling favors us…then china’s claim and occupation of those shoals will be declared illegal. if they ignore…their reputation and standing before the world will suffer. if war breaks out…those territories will be our rallying point. it is therefore important that we stand on solid legal ground…to have the moral cause to fight for, to the end.

    • stupid chink

      Agree, Unfortunately arrogant China would never acknowledge the ruling. in such case what happens next. Here’s what would most likely happen. Other foreign countries sympathetic with the ruling would recognize it, hence would most likely treat waters beyond the EEZ as international waters. With this, ships and other navigation activities would continue to the detriment of CHINA’s exercise of fake sovereignity in the area making their presenc as useless as they are.
      Remember, they can threaten us but could they threaten US if they treat it as an international water? I would love to see it.

      • zdrx

        that’s exactly what will happen. china protesting helplessly at passing ships…as the world treat the area as international waters. with the law on our side…we have moral and legal foundation to enforce our laws and jurisdiction on said area. if china uses force, it will be suicide for them, despite their advanced weaponry.

  • i_am_filipino

    Low class chink was telling recently to disarm american private citizen as support for mao chong chong genocide of 40 million chinks and tibets

  • stupid chink


    • izakyakov

      Oh yeah.. I’m also waiting for them, but those idiots are not yet around.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      pekpek only comes out at night like a rat. i keep insulting them but they wont answer

  • izakyakov


    “With or without China’s comments, the case will proceed,”.

  • sgt. saunders

    No commie skunk here???

  • SaintJames2011

    According to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks;

    Chinese authorities have failed to identify specific historical evidence backing Beijing’s claims that it owns disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea, a confidential US embassy cable publishe d by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said.

    Cable 08BEIJING3499, sent to Washington by the US embassy in Beijing in September 9, 2008, said a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) official and a local scholar could not identify specific historical records to justify China’s “Nine Dashes” claim that covers the whole Spratlys and areas within other countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

  • johnlordphilip

    This is the right way to fight off China claims and not because we cannot fight them through force.

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