By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte affirmed on Wednesday before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) the Philippines’ arbitral victory against China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
“The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded speech during the UNGA’s 75th session.
He also said the Philippines rejects any attempts to undermine the award in the South China Sea arbitration.
Despite the verdict, China has continued its land reclamation efforts in the disputed waters for military and research purposes.
Duterte also thanked other countries who supported the ruling.
“We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for — the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This – as it should – is the majesty of the law,” he added.