MANILA -- Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. has underscored the need to hire international legal experts to reassert the country’s claim over Kalayaan Islands Group and the Scarborough Shoal, both situated in South China Sea.

Teodoro said legal expert’s help is important especially with the recent passage of a new Philippine baselines law that is fully compliant with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Harvard-trained lawyer said the Philippines has no choice but to hire the services of legal experts in the field of international law so the country can make a strong a case in reaffirming its claim over the islands.

He said Congress must make the adequate appropriations for the services of these legal experts, which will cost a lot of money.

“I know for a fact that foremost legal experts in the world were already hired by others,” he said, referring to other states that have claims over the resources-rich South China Sea.

“There are still others, but we must hire them fast. If not, this might create a gap in our legal representation.”

Besides the Philippines, the other countries that have stakes over all or portions of the South China Sea are China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The area is believed to be teeming with natural gas, oil and mineral deposits. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)