Because the Aquino administration did not really take an effort to CORRECT misconception about the Philippines vs China arbitration case, let an ordinary citizen like me remind you what the case is about.
The case is NOT about sovereignty. The case is NOT about maritime delimitation. The case is NOT even about TERRITORIAL DISPUTES. Nothing in that case is about any of that. So DO NOT expect that the arbitral award that will be issued on July 12 will decide on any of that. Now ask yourself, why did the previous administration made it appear that the case was about any of those things I mentioned? They are aware of the misconception, but they didn’t really spend a lot of effort correcting it. WHY???!
This is Paragraph 8 of the arbitral court’s decision on JURISDICTION, issued on 29 October 2015:
“Conscious that the Convention is NOT CONCERNED WITH TERRITORIAL DISPUTES, THE PHILIPPINES HAS STATED THAT AT ALL STAGES OF THIS ARBITRATION THAT IT IS NOT ASKING THIS TRIBUNAL TO RULE ON THE TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY ASPECT OF ITS DISPUTES WITH CHINA. Similarly, conscious that in 2006 China made a declaration, in accordance with the Convention, to exclude maritime boundary delimitations from its acceptance of compulsory dispute settlement procedures under the Convention, THE PHILIPPINES HAS STATED THAT IT IS NOT ASKING THIS TRIBUNAL TO DELIMIT ANY MARITIME BOUNDARIES.”
And this TRUTH makes Duterte’s position on the issue very reasonable.
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