Press Release
July 15, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1097:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on China's reiteration of its rejection of the WPS ruling

What makes China closely assume the distinction of a rogue state is its tendency to be selective in its acceptance of the rule of law in the international setting. Its position that the UNCLOS arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea that voided its nine-dash line claim over the whole of the South China Sea is a mere scrap of paper reflects this tendency.

We must remember that China is a state-party to the UNCLOS. No one forced it to accede to this international treaty on the law of the seas. But China would like to benefit from UNCLOS whenever the treaty is favorable to them, but reject it when it does not work for them. This is the sum and substance of China's character in the world stage as a superpower. China only recognizes its prerogative over other smaller states, no matter how divergent or contrary this prerogative is to the rule of law and to the treaties China itself signed and continue to benefit from.

China of course will not succeed in its attempt to implant among nations the so-called legitimacy of its unilateral rejection of the UNCLOS arbitral ruling. The arbitration procedure and its consequent resolution of the Philippine case versus China is recognized as a valid and legal disposition of China's and the Philippines' UNCLOS entitlements in the West Philippine Sea. And the UNCLOS states that China simply has no entitlement whatsoever in the West Philippine Sea. It is but an intruder when it enters and exploits the Philippines' EEZ.

Duterte's defeatism echoes China when his spokesperson keeps on harping that the Philippine victory cannot be enforced because the UNCLOS has no enforcement mechanism. This position is nothing but an excuse for their treason. Only the Duterte regime is not keen on enforcing the Philippine victory.

Every single day, the arbitral ruling is honored by the other world superpowers when their armadas sail through the South China Sea right under China's nose. In fact, since the ruling was issued in 2016, the US and its allies have repeatedly thumbed their noses at China with their naval exercises conducted right in the middle of what China claims to be its lake.

China is clearly powerless in the midst of all this thumb-nosing. It is powerless to enforce its own nine-dash line claim in the whole of the South China Sea. Only traitors refuse to recognize this when they continue to harp on their own country's supposed weakness, when all the while it is not the nation that is weak, but only Duterte, Roque and their ilk as they perform in accordance with the terms of their employment with China. It's a small blessing to this country that the DFA Secretary has refused to join this traitorous clique.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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