Press Release
July 15, 2016

Bam: Include PH delegation to Hague in bilateral talks with China

As the Duterte administration eyes talks with China, they should include members of the delegation that defended the country's position before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

"The members of the Philippine delegation to The Hague should be part of the team assigned to bilateral talks with China," said Sen. Bam Aquino.

"These men and women worked hard to achieve this historic victory that underscored our earlier assertion that the disputed territory is ours," the senator added.

Aquino said that key members of the UNCLOS delegation, like former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, should definitely be included in the negotiation team.

"They have proven themselves as experts on the issue. Their experience and know-how is invaluable to the government as they engage in talks with China," he added.

Earlier, the PCA ruled in favor of the Philippines in its case against China over the West Philippine Sea, saying there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the 9-dash line.

The tribunal also declared that "China had violated the Philippines' sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone".

Sen. Bam called the decision "the best chance for the Philippines to have a favorable outcome in any future multilateral or bilateral talks. Alas natin 'to!"

"The international tribunal has backed our claim and it's clear that China must comply as a member of the community of nations," the senator said.

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