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Ex-DFA chief: UK, France, Germany boost case for raising SCS issue again

ONE of three former government officials who want the Duterte administration to bring the 2016 arbitral ruling on the South China Sea to the UN general assembly hailed the position of France, Germany and the United Kingdom against China’s SCS claims in the Note Verbale to the United Nations dated September 16, 2020.

France, Germany and the UK invoked the primacy of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) in the SCS and the Arbitral Ruling won by the Philippines against China, noted former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario.

Del Rosario said along with the US, “these European nations confirm our position that there is international support for our  country’s lawful rights in our West Philippine Sea, as ruled by the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague.”

Incumbent Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. earlier frowned on the suggestion to raise the arbitral ruling at this week’s UN general assembly as a way to enforce it in some way.   Locsin, who was Manila’s Permanent Representative to the UN for two years before assuming the DFA post, said bringing the issue once more to an international body will not work the same way, as the numbers game always wins in the UN, where China holds sway over many nations for its development “aid” the past years.

Del Rosario said on Friday, “Given the clear international and domestic support for our  arbitral ruling, it is both incomprehensible and disappointing that our government refuses to invoke the arbitral ruling for the sake of the Filipino people. It is our fervent hope that our government will finally listen to its people.”

In an earlier media briefing, Locsin said: “We won it already. Now, why would you want to re-litigate something that you won? It’s like, you don’t [that] like you won? That doesn’t make any sense. So I rejected it.”

“If brought back to the UN, “it becomes a question of numbers. And this has nothing to do with numbers. This has something to do with law,” added Locsin.

“We will lose in UN which is dominated by countries grateful to China for its indisputable generosity in development aid,” Locsin also said in a tweet.

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