SOLICITOR General Menardo Guevarra has expressed his support to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) position that the 2016 ruling on the South China Sea is the anchor of the Philippines’ policy and actions on the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“The Office of the Solicitor General strongly supports the position of the Department of Foreign Affairs that the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and the 2016 arbitral award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in favor of the Philippines shall be the anchor of all Philippine policies and actions in relation to all maritime right issues in the West Philippine Sea, “ Guevarra said in a message
In a recent statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo honored the 6th anniversary of the award upholding the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) against powerhouse China.
The award was issued by the Hague-based PCA on July 12, 2016, and “authoritatively ruled” that China;s claim of historic rights to resources within the nine-dash line had no basis in law.
Manalo said it also affirmed that “certain actions within the Philippines’ EEZ” violated the country’s sovereign rights; that large-scale reclamation and construction of artificial islands caused severe environmental harm in violation of international conventions; that the large-scale harvesting of endangered marine species damaged the marine ecosystem; and that actions taken since the commencement of the arbitration had aggravated the disputes.
“These findings are no longer within the reach of denial and rebuttal, and are conclusive as they are indisputable,” Manalo said.
“The Award is final. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it; nay, even erase it from law, history and our collective memories. At the same time, we welcome the support of a growing list of countries for the Award,” he added