PH to proceed with case vs China

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2014 02:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2014 10:51 PM

Memorial for ITLOS being prepared, says Valte

MANILA - The Philippines will go ahead and file its memorial or written arguments before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in a bid to bolster its case against China’s sweeping nine-dash claim over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

“Now, the memorial is being prepared. We have a deadline; we are ready to meet the deadline and everything to bolster the government’s case, of course, will be contained in the memorial,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

She said she has no information on reports that China has offered incentives in exchange for not proceeding with the case.

She said the Philippines is ready to argue its case.

Even before the resolution of the dispute, Malacañang said the Philippines has already made a “solid case” before the court of international opinion.

“I think we have already made a solid case before the international community. Our case is based on the rule of law. Our claims are based on international law and our approach has also been lauded by several, by most of the members of the international community as far as the path of arbitration that we’ve chosen to take,” Valte said.

Malacañang sees “nothing new” in China’s rejection of the Philippines’ protest over the reported firing of water cannon at Filipino fishermen by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Asked what the guidance of the President is to the military in dealing with similar incidents in the future, Valte said the Philippines is taking the path of peace.

“The guidance has always been not to respond to provocative acts. The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has said as much, that we have selected the path of peace, the path of arbitration, and we will stick to that as we have done in the past few years,” she said.