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PH should report to UN China’s violations against arbitral award: Zubiri

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Sunday suggested presenting to the United Nations (UN) the repeated violations of China against the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on the South China Sea.

“We shouldn’t stop at just the Arbitral Ruling but we should follow up with the Hague on what is actually going on on the ground by China,” he said in a statement.

Zubiri said the Philippines “should present to the UN the repeated incursions and violations of China against the Hague Arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea,” which is part of the South China Sea.

“We should show the video and photographic evidence of their creeping invasion towards our country and our neighbors with their continuous reclamation of territory within our Exclusive Economic Zone and areas that are considered International waters that hamper the freedom of navigation,” he added.

Former Solicitor General and Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza earlier floated a similar idea, but was worried about China’s veto powers as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Jardeleza also suggested that the Philippines could file a separate case against China for damages in the West Philippine Sea, which Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said a “special team” of state solicitors would look into.

Jardeleza was part of the team that filed the arbitration case against China in 2013.

On July 12, 2016, the Philippines won its 3-year legal battle against China after the PCA validated the latter’s sweeping claims over almost the entire South China Sea. 

But seven years on, China still disregards the PCA ruling, despite being a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and repeated calls from members of the international community that assert the award is binding.

Even with the PCA ruling, Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea continued, prompting the Philippine Coast Guard to report these incidents, seeing it as an “effective” way to deter the East Asian country’s aggression.

Earlier this month, the military deployed additional assets to Kalayaan, a group of islands in the South China Sea administered by the Philippines, to hold “sovereignty patrols” in the disputed waters.

Source : ABS CBN