Locsin says 'we will lose' if PH brings up Hague ruling at U.N.

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr on Thursday, September 19, rejected former foreign secretary Albert Del Rosario's proposal for the Philippines to bring up the 2016 Hague ruling at the United Nations.

"We will lose in UN which is dominated by countries grateful to China for its indisputable generosity in development aid.... We've got nothing comparable to offer," Locsin tweeted.

We will lose in UN which is dominated by countries grateful to China for its indisputable generosity in development aid. We've always lost Non-Aligned Movement votes to include our Arbitral Award. My many good friends in UN vote against us. We've nothing to comparable to offer. https://t.co/LzGa9vB3gm — Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) September 19, 2019

What proposal? Del Rosario had earlier urged the Philippines to seize the opportunity to seek a United Nations resolution asking China to follow the Hague ruling that asserted Philippines’ rights over the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly on Saturday, September 28.

Del Rosario, who was the Philippines' foreign secretary when the country decided to file its historic case against China, said the Hague ruling was "an overwhelming victory not only for the Philippines but also for the entire world." 

Del Rosario backed this proposal by citing US, Japan, Australia, the European Union, and fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations among countries which supported the Hague ruling. (READ: Del Rosario: PH must urge U.N. to back Hague ruling)

"Unless we allow it, China can no longer claim the South China Sea as its own lake," he said. 

Status quo: This, however, was not enough to convince Locsin. The top diplomat said he preferred to leave things as they are since the Philippines "will never ever get UN to vote for (the) arbitral award."

Despite this, Locsin likewise refuted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo who claimed urging the UN to back the Hague ruling would be a "futile exercise." The Philippines, he said, would not let go of the Hague ruling which upheld the country's rights in the maritime area and invalidated China's 9-dash line.

"Sal, we gotta be realistic. We can never ever give up the Arbitral Award," Locsin said.

"So let's leave it as is, move on to beneficial cooperation," he added. "Such is life." (READ: Philippines, China form groups to implement oil, gas exploration deal)

Sal, we gotta be realistic. We can never ever give up the Arbitral Award. Our people will kill us in our beds and rape our sons if we do it. But we will never ever get UN to vote for Arbitral Award. So let's leave it as is; move on to mutual beneficial cooperation. Such is life. https://t.co/LzGa9vB3gm — Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) September 19, 2019

Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has fostered friendlier ties with China, downplaying a decades-long sea dispute in exchange for loans and grants from Beijing. (READ: Philippines loses to China 3 years after Hague ruling) – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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