Following the filing of notes verbales by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom before the United Nations (UN) expressly supporting the landmark 2016 Hague ruling the Philippines won against China, Retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday Filipinos should be deeply grateful to countries that are opposed to China’s expansive claims in the highly disputed West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“The Filipino people should be deeply thankful to these countries for supporting the arbitral award and ensuring that the rule of law will prevail in the oceans and seas of our planet,” said Carpio.
In its notes verbales, the three European countries underscored activities in the highly volatile waterway should be “maintain the integrity” of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and stressed the importance of open and unhampered access to the strategic waterway. They also rejected China’s attempt to claim most of the WPS and its “historic rights” over the WPS, saying this did not comply with international law and had been struck down as illegal by the 2016 arbitral award.
Among the other countries that have expressed support for the 2016 arbitral award in favor of the Philippines are the United States and Australia.