Yasay: Arbitration ruling shouldn't be discussed in Recto Bank case | Global News
Ex-DFA says it is counter-productive and may only heighten the tension

Yasay: Arbitration ruling shouldn’t be discussed in Recto Bank case

/ 11:20 AM June 20, 2019

Yasay: Arbitral ruling shouldn't be discussed in Recto Bank case

Former DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said on Thursday that the arbitration ruling favoring the Philippines against China in the territorial dispute must not be inserted in discussing the Recto Bank incident right now.

“No, I don’t think so,” Yasay told ABS-CBN News Channel after being asked whether the arbitral tribunal’s decision should be included in the conversation.  “This is an isolated maritime accident for now on that basis.”


However, he clarified that if investigations show that the Chinese vessel intentionally rammed the local fishing boat, then the ruling can be used in filing complaints.


“If the evidence is clear, if at the end of the day we’re able to show that China acted deliberately in ramming this vessel and the accountability of China becomes clear, then yes we should include it,” Yasay explained.

“But now why should we include it?  It will just heighten tensions, it will be counter-productive.  We must isolate this until we’re able to be clear on what really happened in the incident and accountabilities are established,” he added.

On June 12, it was confirmed that fishing boat Gim-Ver 1 sank near Recto bank after allegedly being rammed by a Chinese vessel.  The Chinese crew also left the 22 Filipino fishermen at sea until they were rescued by a Vietnamese ship nearby.

After the incident, people have called on the government to invoke the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling on China’s claim over the West Philippine Sea.

In 2016, after a complaint filed by the previous administration, the PCA ruled that China’s nine-dash line was invalid and had no historical basis.

READ: PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea 


READ: The heart of the dispute over the West PH Sea 

However, President Rodrigo Duterte was hesitant in insisting the PCA ruling, stating earlier that he was setting the decision aside.

READ: Duterte says he’ll ‘set aside’ arbitral ruling on South China Sea 

Still, Yasay said that he is happy that the Philippines has the arbitral tribunal in its arsenal, which it may use to assert its claim over Recto Bank, located inside the country’s exclusive economic zone.

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“In fact, more importantly, we are very happy that the arbitral tribunal also said that their nine-dash line claim has no basis in law, even no historical basis, we have that in our favor,” Yasay noted. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

TAGS: DFA, Global News, local news, Philippine news update, Recto Bank, Yasay

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