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Recto backs 'no gloating' policy over UN arbitration victory

Sen. Ralph Recto takes his oath of office before Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Also in this photo are Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto and Ryan Christian Recto. Ralph Recto/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ralph Recto on Thursday said that the "no gloating" policy of Malacañang over the country's victory in its arbitration case against China is the best step to take.

The United Nations' Permanent Court of Arbitration recently ruled that China's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea is invalid.

READ: The verdict: Philippines wins arbitration case vs China

The senator said that curbing enthusiasm over the arbitral tribunal's favorable decision is a mature and reasoned reaction contrary to the tantrums thrown by other parties.

"We’re calm and collected. Compare this to other countries who are sending gunboats. What does this say? Let me quote a Chinese saying: 'He who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument,'" Recto said in a statement released on Thursday.

Recto added that the Palace does not need to resort to theatrics as the decision had already sent shock waves throughout the world.

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The senator said that the believes that the Palace has a post-decision plan but does not plan to share it.

 

'Palace has a plan' 

 

"You don’t telegraph your punches. You don’t unveil what you plan to do in Twitter installments. You keep your cards close to your chest," the senator said.

Recto said that the ruling of the international tribunal will encourage the Philippines to further assert its claims over the West Philippine Sea in "aggressively diplomatic fashion."

“Alangan naman na ikaw na ang nanalo and you are the one waving the white flag first. Right is on our side. And that is superior to might any given day,” Recto said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier called for "restraint and sobriety" after the international tribunal released its ruling on the Philippines' arbitration case against China.

"Our experts are studying the Award with the care and thoroughness that this significant arbitral outcome deserves. In the meantime, we call on those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety," Yasay said.

He has said, as has President Rodrigo Duterte, that the Philippines is open to negotiations with China over development of the disputed area, part of which is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

— Patricia Lourdes Viray

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