ASEAN chairman’s statement still to be finalized – DFA

UNTV News and Rescue
DFA Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar

DFA Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar

MANILA – A maritime law expert has expressed concern over reported contents of the draft of the ASEAN chairman’s statement. It is said that there is no mention of the arbitral ruling on the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

“We will lose some. There are hesitations at this point because we are expecting at least a mention of the ruling. So because of that, expectations for sure the Philippines’ chairmanship will be criticized and some will see it as a weakness,” maritime law expert Atty. Jay Batongbacal said.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is still too early to determine what will be the content of the chairman’s statement since it is still being finalized.

“It’s evolving and over the next couple of days. It will evolve more quickly because we need to have it finalized by the time the leaders meet on Saturday, and the final version will be of course issued after the leaders’ summit,” DFA Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said.

The DFA emphasized the commitment of ASEAN and China to finish the framework for the code of conduct in the south china sea before it ends in 2017 or within the term of the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship.

The President will decide on when to assert the arbitral ruling.

The DFA is confident that the relationship between President Duterte and the ASEAN leaders will not be affected by political issues in the country.

“There is an excellent rapport between the president and the other Asean leaders and I’m sure that rapport will help ensure the success of the chairmanship,” Bolivar added.

DFA calls on Filipinos to do their part to ensure the success of the conduct of the 30th ASEAN Summit in the Philippines. – Rosalie Coz |  UNTV News & Rescue

READ: Government is all set for this week’s ASEAN Summit

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