MANILA - The Philippines has sent a 48-man delegation to The Hague, Netherlands for the first round of hearings on the merits of the country's case against China before the Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
In a press bulletin released by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, the Palace said that the hearings are expected to begin on November 24 and end on November 30.
The Philippine delegation is headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, together with Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and principal counsel Paul Reichler.
The Philippine contingent is composed of representatives from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
The official delegation includes Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justice and former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, Representative Rodolfo Biazon, chair of the committee of national defense and security of the House of Representatives, Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas, Security Cluster Executive Director Emmanuel Bautista and Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
According to Valte, the Philippine embassy at The Hague, headed by Ambassador Jaime Victor Ledda, will provide support and assistance to the delegation, which also includes six Philippine ambassadors from different posts in Europe, counsel, advocates, expert witnesses and support staff.
The Palace clarified that out of the 48 individuals included in the official delegation, only 17 are from the home offices of the different departments in Manila.