Philippines brought up arbitral win in talk with China: Cayetano

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2017 03:33 PM | Updated as of Nov 21 2017 03:49 PM

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MANILA - The Philippines has brought up its arbitration victory over China on maritime rights in the South China Sea during their bilateral meeting, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

"We brought up the arbitration award…But as I said, we don’t go around town saying ganito, ganiyan (this, that)," Cayetano told ANC's Headstart.

"We put it in the context of what the President said. The President’s instruction is that at one point in his administration, he has to take this up and to look at it; but so that we can get to the next phase, we will just put it there," he said.

"It is in the records, but if the starting point pa lang, ‘Usap tayo, ito yung award.’ Kung mag-walk out yung kausap mo?," he added.

Southeast Asian nations and China have agreed to start negotiations on a code of conduct in the disputed waters during a summit hosted by Manila last week, but the Philippines did not raise the legal victory in the multilateral talks.

Cayetano said the Philippines gained "a lot" in rekindling ties with China, which turned cold when Manila initiated an arbitration case against Beijing for overlapping claims in territories in the South China Sea.

"We have to detach our emotions from the realities. And the reality’s that we’re not turning our back sa legal, sa decision, sa UNCLOS; we’re finding a way to implement it. Our lawyer said there are different ways of implementing it," he said.

The President has stopped all claimant countries from building structures in the disputed area as indicated in the Declaration of a Code of Conduct, he added.

"We’re not listening to Beijing; we’re listening to the DOC, and the DOC Section 5 says no construction," he said.

"If that’s a reason, that we cannot trust them (China), we cannot move forward, walang magiging solution. You have to build trust somewhere...They’re building trust and we’re building trust," he said.