Villanueva urges China to recognize 2016 arbitral ruling on South China Sea

Published July 15, 2020, 8:12 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva echoed on Wednesday the calls for China to adhere to the arbitral ruling on the Philippines’ sovereign rights over portions of the West Philippines Sea (WPS).

Sen. Joel Villanueva

In an online interview, Villanueva said he joins the appeal of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for China to comply with the July 12, 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration scrapping its “nine-dash line” claim over the South China Sea, including parts of the WPS.

“We call on the Philippine government to champion our rights over the West Philippines Sea, and to stand by the legal processes that recognize these rights. Let us stand with our allies to protect our rights and to protect the rule of law,” he said.

On July 13, the United States slammed China’s illegal claims in the South China Sea and backed sovereign authority of countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, over their respective exclusive economic zones.

“We appreciate the United States’ statement denouncing China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea and its campaign of bullying to control them as completely unlawful,” Villanueva said.

China, however, still refuses to recognize and accept the arbitral ruling and continues its activities in the South China Sea.