Vice President Leni Robredo lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s inaugural speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly for asserting the country’s stand and territorial claim on the ongoing dispute against China regarding the 2016 ruling on South China Sea.
Robredo stated that Duterte finally expressed the country’s affirmation on its victory on the 2016 ruling which has already become part of international law.
“Ang ganda noong speech. Noong nakuha natin ang arbitral ruling, hinihintay natin na mag-make ng statement iyong Pangulo na iyong ruling is a part of international law already. Hindi siya puwedeng maging subject of compromise. Hindi siya puwedeng maging subject of negotiation,” explained Robredo during her weekly radio show.
The vice president hopes that the administration shows more teeth and keeps its commitment, citing that several other countries have continued their relations with China without having to give up their territorial claims.
“Ang nagpapakita nito, Indonesia saka Vietnam, na kahit tuloy-tuloy iyong economic relations nila with China, pagdating sa incursion sa kanilang territorial waters ay hindi sila pumapayag,” said Robredo.
Earlier, President Duterte told the UN that the Philippines keeps its commitment to international agreements in the aforementioned disputed waters which is also referred to as the West Philippine Sea.
“The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Seas) and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” said Duterte.