FilAm leaders to hold global protest against China as the Philippines face China at UN tribunal

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 16, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A United Nations arbitral tribunal has begun to hear a complaint filed by the Philippine government on the legality of China’s territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that the five-member tribunal under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea has convened in the Hague, in The Netherlands, and will be headed Thomas Mensah, a judge from Ghana.

The designated arbitral tribunal will then decide if the Philippines will take China to international court over their territorial dispute.

The Philippines complained that China’s territorial vast territorial claim of islets and reefs in the West Philippine Sea violate the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and should be declared invalid.

China continues to oppose the tribunal proceedings but despite this, Philippine government officials said the hearings will continue because the tribunal consults both countries thoroughly.

Attorney Ted Laguatan is the legal counsel for the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance. The group is organizing a global protest against China, in front of Chinese embassies and consulates on July 24, from 11:30 am to 1 pm (local time), to put pressure on China to back off.

But Laguatan said they welcome the developments before the U.N. tribunal.

“The court will look for the facts and the applicable law. Even if China does not appear before the tribunal, the court is empowered to look at the facts of the situation and then make a decision. China, by not appearing, shows bad faith. If they’re so sure about their case, why don’t they play by the rules? Instead, they’re making their own rules and insisting all of they own a territory of 1,135,000 square miles, bordering five countries,” Laguatan said.

If a judgment comes and it favors the Philippines, Laguatan hopes China gives way, as it’s “very dangerous for China to face the world.”

Laguatan said they are hoping the protest will “expose China’s bullying ways to the world.”

For more information, you may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikayPang0
    16 July 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    UN is ineffective in achieving its goals … they have the same methods like most Filipino public servant ….

  • jorge buesa
    17 July 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

    China is a two face country, the world should kick there ass. The judgment will favor philippines and china knows that.

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