Pangilinan wants actions after Duterte asserts Hague ruling
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of the Philippines’ legal victory against China over the South China Sea got praise from opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday.
Pangilinan applauded Duterte’s assertion of the Philippines’ landmark victory in the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea but also said words are not enough against China’s continued inclusion in the disputed area.
“We welcome his strong pronouncement asserting the Tribunal Ruling,” said Pangilinan in a statement.
Duterte raised the Hague ruling during his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, saying that “the Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award.”
“The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” added Duterte in his first speech in the council.
Duterte’s words came out of left field considering how he’s maintained a position of being pro-China during his presidency.
Pangilinan said that he hopes Duterte’s pronouncements would soon be translated to actions as he also praised Southeast Asian nations Indonesia and Vietnam, who have not backed down against China’s intimidation.
“We hope he will match these strong words with actions to include bringing the matter officially before the UN as well as seeking support from our ASEAN allies such as Indonesia and Vietnam who have stood up to China and opposed its aggression in the disputed waters,” said Pangilinan.
“We also hope he doesn’t change his mind and does a 180-degree turn moving forward,” added the senator.
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