- Ex-President Benigno Aquino III says he is elated with the court’s decision over the Philippines case against China over the disputed waters
- He says that this should be viewed as a victory for all and not just the country
- International law has been made clearer with the decision, he says
Former President Benigno Aquino III said that the Philippines’ victory over China over the hotly contested West Philippine Sea should be viewed as a “victory for all” parties.
“The best way to look at this judgment is that it is a victory for all,” Inquirer quoted the statement of the former chief executive released on Wednesday.
“I say this because the clarity rendered now establishes better conditions that enable countries to engage each other, bearing in mind their duties and rights within a context that espouses equality and amity,” he said.
Aquino led the Philippines in filing the case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands in January 2013 following a standoff over the long-running dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
“Let us bear in mind: Where there is conflict over claims and opinions, cooperation cannot exist. Now that the rules are even clearer, we can all move forward as a global community. Without doubt, this long-running dispute is now closer to having a permanent solution,” he said on the importance of Tuesday’s landmark ruling.
He celebrated the fact that all the points the country raised in the case were affirmed by the court; saying that “international law has been made clearer with this monumental decision.”
The UN-backed arbitration court favored the Philippines, arguing that China had no legal basis in claiming “historic rights” over the contested waters.
China is asserting ownership based on the 9-dash demarcation line that was printed on a map that dates back to 1947.
Despite the ruling, the Chinese government said that it will not honor the decision calling it a “farce”.
The incumbent administration led by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said it is open to resuming bilateral talks with China.