- Due to his utmost support for the PH, Obama was hailed for reaffirming his support for the PH regarding its dispute with China
- Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that Obama must be given the highest Philippine Award
- The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration sided with the Philippines and invalidated China’s claim over the West Philippine Sea
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that United States President Barack Obama deserve to be given the highest Philippine award for his unfaltering support for the Philippines in its territorial support against China over the West Philippine Sea.
“For telling China to comply with the arbitral ruling, I nominate Obama for the highest Philippine award and to name him ‘Defender of the West Philippine Sea’,” said Carpio.
The magistrate emphasized on Obama’s reaffirming of his support, during the ASEAN summit held in Laos, to the international ruling that invalidated China’s massive claim in the West Philippine Sea.
Obama further mentioned that the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration cannot be just ignored by China.
The highest Philippine award the Philippine President may give to Obama is the Quezon Service Cross. This is under the Honors Code of the Philippines stipulated in Executive Order No. 236.
However, Carpio said that the victory of the Philippines in the arbitration case is not the end of the dispute. He stressed that the ruling will only strengthen the position of the Philippines in the dispute.
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On the other hand, Carpio noted that the move of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in initiating bilateral negotiations with China is instrumental in easing the tension between the two countries.
A bilateral agreement was seen by Carpio as the best option that would make China follow the ruling. However, if the Philippines and China do not reach an agreement, Carpio affirmed that the PH can still pursue other alternatives.
The ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration declared that China’s historic claims and nine-dash line had no basis and are therefore against international law.
Aside from this, the ruling said that China’s move at prohibiting Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal was also unlawful because China has no entitlements over the disputed waters.
Carpio said that the Philippines may go back to the said international court and seek to block China’s application to allow them to explore the seabed before the international seabed territory.