Locsin rejects predecessor Del Rosario's call to raise S. China Sea arbitral victory to UN

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2020 05:53 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2020 05:54 PM

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. file

MANILA-- Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. rejected Wednesday the call of his predecessor Albert del Rosario to raise the Philippines' arbitral win on the South China Sea before the United Nations General Assembly.

Del Rosario earlier urged the Duterte administration to raise the landmark award during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September.

"We won it already. Now, why would you want to relitigate something that you've won? It's like, you don't like you won? That just doesn't make any sense. So, I rejected it," Locsin said in a virtual press briefing.

Raising Manila's arbitral victory to the UN again would turn the issue into a numbers game when it is already a legal one, said Locsin who was the country's Permanent Representative to the UN before his current post.

"You want to bring it up to the United Nations? No. We won it. You bring it back to the UN and it becomes a question of numbers and this has nothing to do with numbers. It has to do with law," Locsin said.

The Philippines on July 12 marked four years since the landmark ruling was handed down, invalidating China's sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea.

While China has refused to recognize the ruling, Locsin said it does not prevent Manila and Beijing from developing their ties.