MANILA- Malacañang dismissed Wednesday the call of the Philippines former top diplomat Albert del Rosario to raise Manila’s legal victory against Beijing over the South China Sea as world leaders gather at the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
It would be “futile” to bring up the 2016 ruling that invalidated China’s sweeping claims over the resource-rich waters to the gathering since the UN has no “enforcement force,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
“For one, it’s futile exercise. Why? Because UN has no enforcement force,” he said.
Del Rosario earlier said the Philippines, which is scheduled to speak at the UN Assembly on Sept. 28, should bring its arbitral ruling to the international fora to compel China to abide the law.
"The UN General Assembly is an excellent venue because all countries will listen and the Philippines can present a case for the UN to reassert that right is might and the rule of law must be upheld," Del Rosario said.
He proposed that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) "formulate a strategy on how the global village of nations can be convinced to take a stand on the rule of law in support of the Philippines."
"It would take time and hard work, but it can be done by Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr., who may wish to enlist the assistance of various retired Permanent Representatives," Del Rosario said.
Panelo meanwhile scoffed at Del Rosario’s suggestion, saying he thinks nothing would happen even if Locsin raises the ruling.
At present, Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the Philippine government is effectively handling the maritime dispute.
“He (Duterte) finds it effective ‘yong ginagawa niya ngayon. May impasse pero tinutuloy pa rin ‘yong usapan at the same time nakikipag-negotiate siya with respect to other areas of concern mutually beneficial to both,” he said.
(He finds what he is doing now effective. There is an impasse but talks are ongoing and at the same time there are negotiations with respect to other areas of concern mutually beneficial to both.)
The Philippines and China have agreed to pursue a joint oil and gas exploration in Manila’s exclusive economic zone even if both countries have yet to resolve the maritime dispute over the South China Sea.