Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon fired again on the camp of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo for blaming the Aquino administration for China’s reclamation actions within the South China Sea.
Drilon, a stalwart of the Liberal Party like Aquino, mentioned Arroyo’s allegation that the protest lodged by the Aquino administration earlier than the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) soar began China’s island constructing spree was “misplaced and absolutely has no basis.”
“We should put the blame on China rather than the Philippines or former President Aquino for asserting our rights as a sovereign country and asserting our rights under the UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea),” he mentioned at a information discussion board in Manila.
The Philippines scored a landmark victory towards China in July final 12 months after the PCA determined in favor of the Philippines saying that the nation has sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea and China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid because it has no historic and even authorized foundation.
Instead of placing to naught the Philippines’ victory within the arbitration case, Drilon urged the Duterte administration to incorporate the Arbitral Tribunal ruling within the agenda of the 30th ASEAN Summit slated to be held later this week in Manila.
“We must take this opportunity, as chair as of the ASEAN, for this year to reassert our sovereignty over the disputed island. We have a decision in our favor and we must continue to avail of every opportunity to assert that ruling by the arbitral court,” he mentioned.
Acting Foreign Affairs Sec. Enrique Manalo mentioned this 12 months’s summit will hopefully pave for the crafting of a framework for a legally-binding code of conduct within the South China Sea which goals to train self-restraint and stop non-militarization inside the contested waters.
“I support that (Code of Conduct) and the Code of Conduct should be based on the award by the Arbitral Tribunal,” Drilon mentioned.