Panelo: Bringing PH arbitral win vs China to UN an ‘option’
MANILA, Philippines — Raising the Philippines’ arbitration win against China before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly is an option that the government may consider in addressing the West Philippine Sea dispute, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Merong mga issues ang ibang bansa na dinadala sa UN General Assembly and they take unified action (Some issues are taken to the UN General Assembly, and they take unified action),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Asked if the country will bring the issue before the UN, Panelo said: “Isa sa mga option ‘yun (It’s one of the options).”
The Palace official made the remark after former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, the country’s top diplomat who brought the case before the international tribunal, broached the idea of bringing the landmark arbitral decision before the UN.
However, Panelo said the decision is up to President Rodrigo Duterte, who has shelved the ruling to engage China in bilateral talks.
“I’m not the President, I’m just his spokesman. It’s the President’s position, I’m just giving you my thought na pwedeng gawin ‘yan (that it can be done),” he said.
The Philippines filed a case challenging China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013.
The arbitral tribunal sided with the Philippines three years later, but China refused to recognize the ruling. /ee
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