PH not cowed by China's threat amid sea row

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Saturday, March 29, 2014


THE Philippine government is prepared for any possible sanction that China might impose as the Aquino administration is determined to file on Sunday a written pleading against Beijing's claims over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal, a Palace official said Saturday.

“I think in all of this, the Philippines, really, will do what is right. China can do what it prefers to do on this matter,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

China has been opposing the country's move in bringing the territorial dispute before an international tribunal.

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“In all of this, the Philippines will always do what is right. The government will always do what is right for our country and for our countrymen,” Valte said.

But she also expressed hope that the relations between the Philippines and China would not be so much affected by the territorial row.

"As far as we are concerned, we’re hoping that will not happen because we’ve always been on the position that neighbors can have issues, neighbors can have disputes, and that we have a multifaceted relationship. Kumbaga marami pa hong mga anggulo ‘yung ating pagkakaibigan na puwede ho nating— na puwedeng doon po tayo mag-concentrate kahit meron po tayong pinag-uusapang isyung ganito," she said.

Asked if the Philippines is ready to push for the arbitration even without the support of its neighbors, she said the Philippine government is determined to fight for what is right and fair.

The country is also inspired by the support it has been getting from the international community, the Palace official said.

Other claimant-countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) were allegedly being cowed by China not to follow the actions taken by the Philippines.

“It's apparent from all the support that we’re getting from the international community for our chosen track na kailangan ito under international law and for a peaceful resolution of the dispute,” she said.

A memorial is a voluminous document containing very convincing evidence against China's claims over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The Philippines is required to submit the written pleading through e-mails and courier deliveries, which should come with soft copies in storage devices.

The memorial should also contain all documentary, witness, expert, and other evidence that the Philippines intends to rely on, based on the Rules of Procedure set by the designated arbitral tribunal supported by the United Nations. (SDR/Sunnex)

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