Don’t ‘taunt or flaunt’ if PH wins in sea row case—Rody
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said the government would “study progressively” the decision of The Hague Court in case the decision favors the Philippines.
While it may be a moral boost if the country wins the case, Duterte said that the government should still exercise prudence.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration said on Wednesday it will deliver an eagerly awaited ruling on July 12 in a case filed by the Philippines contesting Beijing’s sweeping claims to most of the South China Sea.
Beijing has rejected international arbitration and says it will ignore the panel’s decision.
In an unusual move, the court announced the date of the ruling ahead of time, saying it will be sent to the countries involved July 12 and published the same day.
“Dito, it’s a cliffhanger kasi if we decide right. We may also find alleviation of some of the problems here. Eh kung sinobrahan natin it should be a soft-landing from everybody na kung meron man. We don’t really taunt or flaunt it,” Duterte told his Cabinet members in their first official meeting in Malacañang.
“We will study progressively kung paano natin magagamit yun. Of course, it would be a moral victory but we can’t put the country in an awkward position,” he added.
Six governments have overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea – China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. In addition, China’s broadly drawn nine-dash line, which demarcates its ambitions for maritime boundaries, overlaps waters nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) from the Chinese mainland that are part of Indonesia’s internationally recognized exclusive economic zone.
Washington takes no sides in the competing claims in the South China Sea, a crucial waterway for trade, but has declared it is in the U.S. national interest for the disputes to be peacefully resolved and that freedom of navigation and overflight should not be impeded. With a report from AP/ac/rga
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