BAGUIO CITY – The involvement of the international community against China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea will be one of the durable solutions in coming out with a solution to maintain the freedom of navigation in the disputed area, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said here Wednesday.
Jose was in town to spearhead the awareness campaign on the government’s position in the West Philippine Sea conflict through consultations with multi-sectoral groups and the academe in Baguio and Benguet.
“The Philippines has taken the best position in the current standoff with China in the West Philippine Sea conflict because other claimant countries were not able to advance in their respective positions since the country was the only one that pursued the arbitration case with the international court,” Jose stressed.
The DFA official said it will now be the international community that will be against China once it refuses to comply with the decision of the arbitral tribunal relative to the arbitration case filed by the Philippine government to avert further aggressions in the disputed islands of the West Philippine Sea.
According to him, the Philippines is showing the way on how to sustain the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea through the availment of available legal options that would serve as a landmark in the world history.
Jose added the commitment of the United States and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the recent US-ASEAN Summit in California to strengthen their bond in going against China’s aggression and maintain the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea would greatly help in preserving law and order in the disputed areas.
Joe claimed China’s aggression in the disputed areas will likely open up the minds of other nations to go against the bullying and other activities of the said country and would result to the increasing tremendous pressure against China to eventually stop such activities and respect lawful decisions relative to the said brewing international issue.
He said the country must continue to be vigilant on the latest developments relative to China’s aggression in the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea so that it will continue to subject such actions to the appropriate legal actions pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLAWS).
He explained the UNCLAWS will be the overall governing rule over the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea, thus, countries that are members of the United Nations must adhere to the crafted international policies in order to sustain the freedom of navigation in the said area and prevent aggression by countries wanting to claim ownership over areas beyond their economic zones defined under international laws.
By Dexter A. See