Pimentel files Senate resolution praising Aquino for win over China
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III filed a Senate resolution commending former president Benigno Aquino III and other members of the Philippine delegation for the country's historic win in the arbitration case against China.
Pimentel, ally of President Rodrigo Duterte and who's being eyed as the next Senate president of the 17th Congress, filed Senate Resolution No. 16 on Friday, July 22.
Aside from Aquino, the resolution seeks to laud former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Francis Jardeleza, and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay for their “major role” in the country’s historic victory.
Giving credit to his ally’s predecessor, Pimentel said the landmark decision would not have been possible without “the vision, foresight, diligence, and courage” of Aquino. After all, Pimentel said it was the former leader who made the “critical decision” of filing the case.
“It is just fitting and right that the Philippine Senate should recognize the heroic efforts made by those involved in achieving the historic legal victory over areas in the West Philippine Sea,” Pimentel said in a statement on Friday, July 22.
Pimentel's resolution doesn’t include former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr, who, according to government insiders, also played crucial roles in the Philippines' case.
The roles of Hilbay and Jardeleza, on the other hand, have become questionable because they initially refused to include the Itu Aba issue in the pleading or memorial filed by the Philippines against China.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on July 12 said an arbitral tribunal has ruled in favor of the Philippines in its historic case against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The PCA said the tribunal "concluded that, as between the Philippines and China, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the '9-dash line.'"
The tribunal said that "all of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands (including, for example, Itu Aba, Thitu, West York Island, Spratly Island, North-East Cay, South-West Cay) are legally 'rocks' that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf." (READ: FAST FACTS: South China Sea dispute) – Rappler.com