By: Elena Grace Flores
Philippine’s Incoming Foreign Affairs secretary Yasay said; “Whatever the decision will be, we will respect it. If it is in favor with China, we will respect it. If it is in favor with the Philippines, we will respect it,” he said. Yasay added that they are also hoping that “China will respect if the U.N. rules in favor of the Philippines because we both are binded in the rule of law through Unclos – which China earlier threatened to disregard its membership should the ruling won’t be favorable to them.”
The dispute is not only a territorial dispute between the two countries but an international issue concerning international freedom of navigation. Should China choose to ignore the ruling and continues to harass its neighbors with their massive artillery and reclamation activities plus shooing fishermen away, then the international community should step in to reprimand. Yasay is confident that the court ruling will not only benefit the Philippines but also the international community for peace and stability in the disputed waters.
Indeed the outcome of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) court is not really for the Philippines’ interest only. It is an international concern that must be preserved by the international body. The Philippines is also prepared to accept rejection on some of the 15 complaints the country submitted for action.