Malacanang reiterated the Aquino government’s position to resolve the ownership dispute between the country and China concerning the islands in the West Philippine Sea through diplomatic, legal and peaceful means as it expressed confidence to address the issue at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Wednesday, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ramon Carandang said that the government remains firm on its stand to resolve the dispute in consistency with international laws.
“The best way to resolve the issue is through international law and international legal procedures which all nations have promised to adhere to so naghahanap po tayo ng mapayapa, maayos at malinaw na solusyon sa isyu na ang tinatawag ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ay Baha de Masinloc,” Carandang said.
“The offer of the DFA to go to ITLOS is part of that policy, as the President said, we don’t intend to go to war over this… if we can resolve this diplomatically, peacefully and legally then yun ang gagawin natin, so in adherence with our stand na dapat ma-resolve ito in consistency with the international law, iyan po ang alok natin sa China,” he added.
Carandang noted the participation of both parties in discussions to work things out and formulate the best solution to the issue without escalating tension.
“The good news is both parties are talking and we’re both trying to find a way out of this that will save face for both parties without escalating tension… the important thing is that talks continue,” Carandang said.
“We are confident that this can be resolved in a way that does not escalate tensions any further,” he continued.
The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.
The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea.