Aquino remains hopeful that territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea will be resolved amicably
MANILA, Oct 17 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III remains hopeful that the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will be resolved with all parties concerned amicably.
The President told members of the Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines (FOCAP) during their annual Presidential Forum held at the Centennial Ballroom of the Manila Hotel on Wednesday that he hoped a solution that would address multilateral concerns would soon be reached.
“We are still hoping that we will resolve this amicably; that reasonable voices will prevail; and that both sides are really geared towards arriving at a solution that will satisfy not just the bilateral concerns but more importantly I guess the multilateral concerns affecting this issue,” the President said.
Aside from the Philippines, six other countries: China, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia are claiming the contested area as theirs.
The President said that legal experts on international law were studying “how to advance our claims” on the West Philippine Sea through the International Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea (ITLOS), an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention. It is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea.
“In terms of ITLOS, it is still being studied by our consultants. There are several law firms that we are consulting, conversant and very well thought of and experts in international law, to precisely chart the course of how we will utilize the legal procedures in international law to advance our claims,” the President said.(MNS)
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