- DFA Spokesperson Charles Jose claims that China is "very much concerned" with the forthcoming verdict in the South China Sea arbitration case
- Possible damage to Beijing’s image is expected in case of non-compliance with an unfavorable ruling
- The Permanent Court of Arbitration is set to rule on the matter in the coming weeks
DFA Spokesperson Jose claims that China’s hardline stance on the sea row is belied by its actions—showing anxiety over the possible outcome. "Sa atin pong analysis, very much concerned din ang China dahil ngayon pa lang, idini-discredit nila iyung arbitration processs, iyung tribunal at of course, sinasabi nilang maraming bansa ang sumusuporta sa kanila," Jose pointed out.
(In our analysis, China is very much concerned because as early as now, they are already discrediting the arbitration process and the tribunal, even as they say that many nations support them.)
In 2013, the Philippines filed a case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, in a bid to invalidate the vaguely drawn nine-dash line of China. The Philippines argue that those lines lay claim to almost the entire South China Sea in violation of international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). On the other hand, China, has persistently denied that the tribunal has any jurisdiction on the issue. Analysts believe that China fears that the court will rule against its claim based on “historic rights” since it does not have any international legal grounds.
The Philippine government remains optimistic that the tribunal will rule in our favor and pressure China to reverse its ever-growing expanisionist efforts. "We are guardedly optimistic na magiging favorable po sa Pilipinas ang decision ng arbitral tribunal dahil malinaw naman po kung titingnan natin ang UNCLOS, wala po talagang basing under international law iyung nine-dash line claim ng China based on historic rights," he said. The tribunal will issue a notice one week before it announces its ruling.
(We are guardedly optimistic that the decision of the arbitral tribunal will be favorable to the Philippines because looking at the UNCLOS, there really is no basing for the nine-dash line claim of China based on historic rights under the international law.)