PH risks losing PCA gains if award raised before UNGA: Locsin

PH risks losing PCA gains if award raised before UNGA: Locsin

DFA Secretary Teddyboy Locsin

MANILA — The Philippines could lose the gains it achieved in the Arbitral ruling on the South China Sea should it push raising the issue before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this September 2020, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. reiterated Friday.

Locsin underscored that Manila already won the Award and that bringing the claims to the international body risks its reopening.

“When you win something, you do not appeal your victory… Because once you throw it to the United Nations, I’m afraid China has the numbers there and it’s about numbers. It’s not about law,” he said in a CNN Philippines interview.

“What if it reopens? The question is, was it a violation of Philippine sovereignty? Our ruling already defined what’s ours. But if that is the question I’m going to bring up again to another court, they may reopen it. I’m even afraid that some of our neighbors may want to bring it up just precisely to lose it. I trust no one in this world,” he said.

Locsin believes Manila would fail to garner support from most UN-member states like it did in the past when it would propose for the ruling’s inclusion or mention in resolutions.

“I was in the United Nations. I can tell you from the major blocks of developing countries, let’s call them that, small countries like the Non-Aligned Movement, they always vote against the inclusion of our Arbitral Award in any resolution by those large voting bodies. We are always rejected; they always go with China,” he said.

“Believe me, the smaller the country, the more insular its character — in that sense, similar to us — the more likely they will not vote with us because they need all the help they can get,” he added.

The South China Sea where the Spratly Islands are located is contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and China, which claims almost 80 percent of the waters under its so-called “nine-dash line”.

In a 2016 Arbitral ruling, the Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated China’s vast claims as illegal. (PNA) 

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