Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday turned down the idea of former top diplomat Albert del Rosario to elevate the Philippines’ arbitration victory against China over the dispute in the South China Sea before the United Nations.
Locsin sided with the position taken by Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo that raising the 2016 Arbitral Award at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York would be a “futile exercise,” given that the body had no enforcement mechanism.
Locsin even painted a grim picture of what would happen if Manila brought the case before the General Assembly.
“We will lose in the UN, which is dominated by the countries grateful to China for its indisputable generosity in development aid,” Locsin said in his Twitter account.
“We’ve always lost Non-Aligned Movement votes to include our Arbitral Award. My many good friends in the UN vote against us. We’ve nothing comparable to offer.”
But Locsin said the Philippines could never abandon the ruling, which invalidated China’s massive claim over almost the entire South China Sea―including Manila’s exclusive economic zones and the West Philippines Sea.
“We gotta be realistic. We can never ever give up the Arbitral Award. Our people will kill us in our beds and rape our sons if we do it,” Locsin said.
“But we will never ever get the UN to vote for the Arbitral Award. So let’s leave it as is; move on to mutual beneficial cooperation. Such is life.”
On Monday, Del Rosario prodded Foreign Affairs to make 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.”
According to the former top diplomat, the UN General Assembly had previously passed a resolution calling on the United States to comply with the judgment of the International Court of Justice in connection with a case filed by Nicaragua over Washington’s interference with its domestic affairs.
However, Panelo said nothing came out of it even as the US later extended economic aid to Nicaragua.