03 August 2017

News Story: DFA - Framework on South China Sea code might skip Hague ruling

By Alexis Romero

MANILA, Philippines — The arbitral ruling that voided China’s expansive claim in the South China Sea might not be mentioned in the framework of the code of conduct for claimants in the maritime row, an official said Tuesday.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said the framework, which is expected to be endorsed by Southeast Asian foreign ministers next week, would be “generic” and would outline the nature of the code of conduct for parties in the dispute.

“It’s an outline, the nature of the code of conduct, what principles govern the behaviors of (the parties). I would think it’s something more generic so there’s no specific mention (of the arbitral ruling),” Bolivar told reporters in Malacañang.

“In broad strokes, definitely, there’s an identification of the legal basis, what are we trying to accomplish in terms of the legal basis, and then the principles of the law of the seas. And then perhaps, a statement on how countries should behave in the region,” he added.

When asked if the legal basis would include the arbitral ruling, Bolivar said: “We will have to see. It’s a negotiation. As mentioned, it’s already part of international jurisprudence.”

Read the full story at PhilStar