FEB.

28, 2013

NR # 3029B

Golez supports DFA move elevating dispute with China on West Philippine Sea to international tribunal
A lawmaker is supporting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in its initiative of elevating the West Philippine Sea dispute with China before an arbitral tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to arrive at a peaceful resolution to the matter. Rep. Roilo Golez (2nd District, Parañaque City), filed House Resolution 3005 saying the step taken by the DFA was sanctioned by the Settlement of Disputes of the 1982 UNCLOS, which provides for the mechanism to resolve disputes between state parties arising from the interpretation and application of the UNCLOS provision regulating maritime rights and territories. “China’s territorial claim declared and represented in the nine-dash line, which again caught international controversy with the issuance by the Chinese government of new passports showing the claim on the map, has elicited diplomatic and public protests from other country claimants including the Philippines,” Golez said. Golez said the UNCLOS not only ensures the regulation, conservation, and equitable utilization of maritime resources but also addresses issues on sovereignty, usage and navigational rights in maritime zones by state parties that have ratified or acceded to the UNCLOS. Citing Article 287 of UNCLOS, Golez said the Philippine government should be free to choose, by means of a written declaration, one or more of the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this convention. Golez said the Philippine government may issue a declaration choosing one or more of the given means for settling the present territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea. Golez also said countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, and India affected by Chinese territorial claim represented by the Nine-dash line have made formal protests and undertaken procedural measures to indicate their respective refusal to validate the Chinese claim, and the submission of the dispute to the arbitral court is the next appropriate step available to the Philippines. Golez added that the DFA has issued a statement on January 22, 2012 saying that the initiation of Arbitral Proceedings under Article 287 and Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS against China’s nine-dash line claim is contrary to the provisions of UNCLOS. (30) eg

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