‘PAG-USAPAN MUNA’ | Litigation is last resort on WPS issue – Roque

7 months ago

MALACAÑANG, PHILIPPINES (June 14, 2018) – Malacañang remained firm in its decision of not suing China even if it reportedly destroyed coral reefs in Scarborough Shoal.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said litigation is always the last resort, despite the suggestion of Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio for the government to demand damages from China.

Carpio said China violated its obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to “protect and preserve the marine environment.”

However, Roque believes the issues related to the West Philippine Sea can be best addressed through dialogues.

“Hindi na siguro tayo magsasampa ng panibagong kaso laban sa China kasi meron tayong bilateral mechanism para i-address ‘yung mga ganitong complaints. Pagsasamantalahan na lang natin itong bagong mekanismo na wala dati sa nakalipas na administrasyon,” he said.

Roque also claimed the country has earned a new relation with China.

“Meron naman tayo bagong respeto at pagkakaibigan sa China, tingin ko pwedeng pag-usapan ito at hindi demandahan agad. Wala namang pagkakaiba ang demandahan sa lokal na hukuman sa demandahan sa international field,” he added.

The secretary, meanwhile, said he doesn’t care about China’s reason for saying they allow Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal “out of good will.”

“The fishermen are able to fish now under the administration of President [Rodrigo] Duterte. For me, as their former counsel, that’s what matters. When we sued China, it was for violation of the right to life and livelihood. They now have a livelihood, I leave it there for now,” he said.