Ahead of ASEAN Summit, senators urge gov't to enforce West PH Sea ruling

MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Thursday, November 9, called on the Duterte administration to enforce the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling in favor of the Philippines, involving the historic case filed against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV made the call days ahead of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit that will be hosted by the Philippines.

The issue on the West Philippine Sea is expected to be raised during the two-day summit.

"Since before the decision, China has been taking our food. It's been taking our fish. The government, in behalf of the Filipino people, and especially our fisherfolk, should enforce this decision so that our fisherfolk can go back to this maritime space and fish," the senators said in their joint statement.

They added: "We suggest that the government use its ASEAN chairmanship to rally our allies and friends to this end – for our people, for our fisherfolk." (READ: ASEAN 2017 eyes framework on South China Sea code of conduct)

The PCA in its July 2016 ruling had concluded that "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.'" – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.