The camp of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday accused the Aquino administration of “provoking” China into constructing synthetic islands within the South China Sea by submitting the territorial dispute between the 2 international locations to worldwide arbitration.

Speaking at a information convention with Arroyo and her former government secretary, Eduardo Ermita, lawyer Estelito Mendoza stated China had categorically acknowledged that the Philippine case within the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague had provoked it into constructing synthetic islands, together with on a shoal within the Kalayaan Island Group within the Spratly archipelago.

Three instances, Arroyo, in a naughty tone, emphasised that the unreal islands had been constructed by China “during the previous administration.”

“In effect we were fighting in The Hague. Maybe we are winning in The Hague. But China made it a point that they were winning in the waters of the South China Sea. That would now be the most difficult problem of President Duterte, the islands built during the Aquino administration,” Mendoza stated.

Mendoza ‘primer’

Arroyo—who now holds the seat of the second district of Pampanga within the House of Representatives—Mendoza and Ermita tackled the South China Sea dispute on the launch of the veteran lawyer’s “primer” on the Philippines’ maritime space, which tackles primarily Republic Act No. 9522, handed by Congress throughout the Arroyo administration, defining the nation’s archipelagic baselines.

Arroyo stated China didn’t protest the Philippines’ baselines, which in impact outlined the nation’s sovereignty over these areas, besides Panatag Shoal (worldwide title:  Scarborough Shoal) and the Kalayaan group.

Mendoza stated there was “relative quiet and peace” within the South China Sea throughout the Arroyo administration.

“Now what is catching attention not only of the countries bordering the South China Sea is practically [the] continuing tension in the South China Sea, the posturing of the naval might of the US, China and other countries that did not exist during the Arroyo administration,” he stated.

Arroyo stated she was briefed by authorities businesses just like the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority on the South China Sea

on Wednesday.

Strategic course

She stated that on the NSC assembly in Malacañang final yr, attended by all former Presidents, she emphasised that “as far as China is concerned, our strategic direction should be to emphasize our economic relations and transcend to the extent that we can  matters and issues between us.”

In 2013, the administration of President Benigno Aquino III challenged China’s declare to virtually the entire South China Sea at The Hague tribunal.

Duterte’s technique

The tribunal handed down a call on July 12 final yr, ruling that China’s declare had no foundation in worldwide regulation and that it had violated the Philippines’ proper to fish and discover assets within the West Philippine Sea, waters inside Manila’s 370-kilometer unique financial zone within the South China Sea.

President Duterte, a self-styled socialist who got here to

workplace final yr, upended Philippine overseas coverage by refusing to claim the nation’s victory and as an alternative making pleasant overtures to China and Russia whereas steering the Philippines away from the affect of its longtime ally the United States.

Arroyo and Ermita additionally defended the defunct—and controversial—Joint Maritime Seismic Understanding, saying it was a analysis effort in

the South China Sea by the Philippines, China and Vietnam that didn’t have an effect on the international locations’ claims within the disputed waterway.

Arroyo additionally defended Mr.  Duterte’s actions and statements in coping with the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.

“He knows what he’s doing,” Arroyo stated.

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