Press Release
August 3, 2023


Sen. Chiz Escudero on Thursday (Aug. 3) suggested the Marcos administration may opt to file a "Special Action for Recognition of Foreign Judgment" before the Supreme Court to formally recognize the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) as part of the law of the land.

The Arbitral Ruling in 2016 bolstered the government's territorial claim as it invalidated China's nine-dash line claiming nearly the entirety of the South China Sea.

Guesting at the Kapihan sa Senado, Escudero said his suggestion could be one of the options in giving flesh to the intentions of Senate Resolution 718, which condemned China's continued aggression in the West Philippine Sea and urged the Philippine Government to "take appropriate action in asserting and securing the Philippines' sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."

The High Court's recognition of the Arbitral Ruling could be a better alternative instead of bringing the matter before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which, he pointed out, has its own disadvantages.

"Mas nais ko sanang pag-aralan ng pamahalaan ang paghahain ng isang tinatawag nating 'Special Action for Recognition of Foreign Judgment.' Walang ganitong uri pa ng aksyon kaugnay sa arbitral ruling pero merong parallel o analogy ito sa Article 26 ng Family Code," the senator said.

Article 26 of the Family Code allows recognition of a foreign divorce obtained by the foreigner spouse abroad.

"By analogy, ang pwedeng pag-aralan ng Office of the Solicitor General ay maghain ng petition sa Korte Suprema sa 'recognition of foreign judgment," he said. "Kung may pasya na ang korte na kinikilala ang Arbitral Ruling dito sa ating bansa, iyan ay magiging bahagi na ng batas ng Pilipinas."

The High Court recognition, Escudero stressed, will protect the Philippines' territorial claim over the West Philippine Sea and endure that this cannot be reversed by future administrations.

In the same forum, the veteran legislator said that while the Senate has adopted Resolution 718 and presented it to Malacañang, it will ultimately be up to President Marcos which direction to take insofar as the country's foreign policy is concerned.

The Bicolano legislator also said that while the government seeks a peaceful route to resolving the conflicting claims in the WPS, the Philippines should strongly assert its right over the WPS.

"The Philippines should continue what it has been doing," Escudero said, referring to the filing of diplomatic protests every time there are reported Chinese harassment incidents in the WPS. "Tatayuan natin at hindi natin bibitiwan ang ating karapatan at pagmamay-ari sa lugar na iyan habang hinahayaan natin magpatuloy ang iba't-ibang uri ng ugnayan at relasyon sa bansang Tsina na pinagkakasunduan naman ng dalawang bansa," Escudero said.

"We can agree to disagree on certain points but we can also move forward and cooperate on points that we have agreed upon, such as trade. For me this is the best way to approach the issue," he added.

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