DFA chief insists 2016 arbitral award 'final and binding'

DFA: 2016 arbitral award ‘final and binding’, backed by int’l community

/ 03:40 PM March 26, 2024

DFA: 2016 arbitral award 'final and binding', backed by int'l community

FILE PHOTO: Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo delivers a message during a media event in Manila, Philippines, August 16, 2022. Manalo addressed China’s disapproval of the landmark July 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, maintaining that the award is “final and binding” and “reaffirmed by the international community.” REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo on Tuesday addressed China’s disapproval of the landmark arbitral ruling, maintaining that the award is “final and binding.”

In a press conference, Manalo was asked how the Philippines intends to “fix [the] dilemma” surrounding Beijing’s persistent refusal to recognize the historic July 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Netherlands.


The 2016 arbitral ruling upheld the Philippines’ rights over the West Philippine Sea and invalidated China’s infamous nine-dash line then.


“China, as you mentioned, [on] many occasions said they don’t accept the arbitral award. All I can say is that the arbitral award is final and binding and this has been reaffirmed by the international community,” the DFA chief said.

China’s latest hostile behavior in the West Philippine Sea transpired on March 23 when the China Coast Guard water cannon-attacked Philippine ship Unaizah May 4 (UM4) while on a resupply mission en route to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

The aggression caused heavy damage to UM4 and injured several crew members aboard the vessel.

Following China’s incursion, several foreign allies expressed concerns and voiced their categorical support for the Philippines.

READ: Foreign envoys ‘troubled’ over China vessels’ strikes vs PH ships in West Philippine Sea

In a text message to INQUIRER.net on Monday, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Teresita Daza said the countries that issued their concern about China’s dangerous maneuvers and use of the high-powered water cannon are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • EU
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Republic of Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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TAGS: 2016 arbitral award, China, West Philippine Sea

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