- President Rodrigo Duterte told the US Congressional Delegation that he does not intend to negotiate with China following a favorable PCA ruling
- The Palace has issued a statement that it is pursuing a diplomatic course in dealing with China
- Meanwhile, China has stood pat to its initial pronouncement that it will not negotiate on anything which will be based on the PCA ruling
Amidst China’s tough stance on no negotiations with regards to the ruling handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) favoring the Philippines, the Palace has issued a statement that it is pursuing the road of diplomacy in dealing with China.
According to the statement issued by the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, the country is engaging in bilateral talks to find mutually acceptable arrangements for both the Philippines and China. It also mentioned that it is consulting with the country’s regional allies.
“We consider our sovereign economic rights, granted by the Law of Nations to be non-negotiable,” the statement said.
The statement came right after U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy tweeted the details of his meeting with President Duterte. In his tweets, he mentioned that the President made a statement to the US Congressional Delegation that he has no intention of negotiating with China over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The statement also mentioned that the Philippines’ engagement with China must all be in compliance with the laws that govern the issue on the West Philippine Sea. This includes the Constitution and International Law. For international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is one that will have the greatest weight as it was the law crafted to determine the territorial limits of a nation.
After the PCA ruling was handed down, China has given statements that it will not negotiate based on the terms of the PCA award. Its Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, during a briefing last July 13, even mentioned that China expects the present Filipino government to recognize the PCA ruling as a waste of paper and unenforceable.
Meanwhile some Filipino fishermen from Zambales have also tried to go to Scarborough Shoal after the favorable PCA ruling was released, but were warded off by the Chinese.
With the recent pronouncement of the Philippine government that it will not negotiate on the sovereign economic rights of the country, Filipinos may start heaving a sigh of relief and expect the government to abide by its word and make a strong stand. - SD, Kami Media