By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will not raise the ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal on the South China Sea in its bilateral talks with China, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Wednesday.
The Philippines' top diplomat clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte is not setting aside the award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in the Hague, Netherlands.
"China has disassociated itself from the arbitral ruling and the president has been quite clear that he will not be raising the arbitral ruling. He's not setting it aside but he won't be raising it until an appropriate time during his administration," Manalo said in an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source.
This does not mean that the Philippines will not be discussing issues of concern in its upcoming dialogue with China, Manalo said.
On July 2016, the arbitral tribunal ruled that Beijing's historic nine-dash line claim over the disputed South China Sea does not have legal basis.
The arbitral tribunal also concluded that China violated its commitment under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by building artificial islands within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.
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