Raising arbitral ruling on West Philippine Sea ‘a futile exercise’
Malacañang rejected a former Cabinet official’s suggestion to raise the arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea at the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly, describing it as a “futile exercise.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo dismissed former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s suggestion, saying the UN body has no power to enforce the Philippines’ legal victory over China.
“For one, it’s a futile exercise. Why? Because the UN has no enforcement force,” Panelo said in a media interview.
Del Rosario cited the case of Nicaragua against the United States where the UN had supported the legal victory of the former by adopting a resolution calling for full compliance with the judgment of the International Court of Justice.
“Nicaragua’s resort to the UN had the effect of securing international publicity and of gaining favorable global opinion. The United States continued to defy the UN resolutions, until later on, it ultimately provided a substantial aid package to Nicaragua,” del Rosario said.
Panelo, however, said that despite this resolution, there was no further development on Nicaragua’s case.
“He is citing the case of Nicaragua. Did anything happen there? None. It remained the same,” Panelo said.
The Palace official reiterated that President Rodrigo R. Duterte still finds his method of holding bilateral talks with China as the most effective.
“There is impasse but the talks are still ongoing. At the same time, he negotiates with respect to other areas of concern mutually beneficial to both (countries),” Panelo said.
On Monday, del Rosario urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to “formulate a strategy on how the global village of nations can be convinced to take a stand on the rule of law in support of the Philippines.”
For del Rosario, the UN General Assembly is “an excellent venue because all countries will listen and the Philippines can present a case for the UN to reassert that right is might and the rule of law must be upheld.”
The Philippines is scheduled to speak before the UN on September 28. (PNA)