Palace: PH sovereign economic rights 'non-negotiable'

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2016 02:49 PM | Updated as of Jul 20 2016 08:27 PM

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. Ace Morandante, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday said that while the Philippines will engage China bilaterally "to find mutually acceptable arrangements" following a favorable ruling of the arbitral court, it maintained that the country's "sovereign economic rights" are "non-negotiable."

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said engagement with China must comply "with the Constitution, International Law and the rule of law."

"The Philippines continues along a diplomatic path to fully realize the EEZ rights granted by the Arbitration Court - engaging in bilateral talks to find mutually acceptable arrangements to RP, PROC; and consulting with our regional allies. We consider our sovereign economic rights, granted by the Law of Nations to be non-negotiable," Abella said.

"Engagement with China through towards the peaceful resolution of the issue must be compliant with the Constitution, International Law and the rule of law," he added.

Abella made the statement in reaction to tweets made by US Senator Murphy on President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with a visiting US delegation.

Murphy said Duterte is not negotiating with China over the maritime row.

READ: US senator: Duterte won't trade rights to China

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Duterte when he comes to Manila for a two-day visit next week.