As its maritime dispute with China continues to heat up, the Philippines should now consider taking the issue to the United Nations General Assembly, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario said Wednesday night.
Del Rosario said this move could “persuade” China to follow the 2016 decision of Permanent Court of Arbitration favoring the Philippines in its arbitration case against China over claims in the West Philippine Sea.
“I think it’s time for us to consider going the UN General Assembly to be able to get the necessary votes to persuade China to abide by the outcome of the arbitral tribunal,” Del Rosario said at a fellowship meeting of the Philippine Bar Association held in Makati.
Earlier on Wednesday, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that some 113 Chinese vessels were spotted roaming near Pag-asa Island, the Philippines’ biggest outpost in the West Philippine Sea.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he had already fired off a diplomatic protest following Esperon’s recommendation.
“I think he’s doing the right thing if he has submitted a protest,” Del Rosario said. I think Secretary Locsin is doing his best in terms of the issues that we have against China,” Del Rosario said.