By Marjaleen Ramos
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday that the Philippines’ arbitral win against China cannot be set aside.
“The fact is we want it. We want it admittedly by reducing our demands.. I understand from my experts that there are no sovereign issues anymore involved, there’s no description of island. There is just a description of features and what they are entitled to — the 12 nautical miles or nothing, but certainly no economic zone,” Locsin said in an interview with ANC Headstart.
“What the arbitral award gives is that it put the award beyond the reach of compromise. In other words, I don’t care if the Filipino people want to set it aside. No. It’s there.”
The foreign affairs chief also said that President Duterte did more than enough when he raised the Philippines’ arbitral win to Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing last August 29, 2019.
“He did rather more than I thought he should. In fact, the first time he brought it up my reactions was not so good. I have been talking to him earlier. He kept repeating and repeating, but he did it,”
Locsin added the President was not apologetic when he brought up the arbitral ruling to China.
“He’s a strong man.. Some people don’t like him because he’s emphatic. Apparently, he does that. Although there’s no question that there is a great deal of affection between Xi and him,” he said.
“For our part, we hold that the arbitral award is final, binding and not subject to appeal.”