Philippines ready for hearing on merits vs China
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 23, 2015 - 7:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine delegation is prepared to present the country's case for the first round of oral arguments on merits before the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

"Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and principal counsel Paul Reichler briefed the Philippine delegation on the expected flow of the proceedings for the hearing days, assuring that we are fully prepared to present our case to the Tribunal," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement.

The hearings are scheduled to begin on November 24 and last until November 30.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will head the Philippine delegation composed of representatives from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

"The Philippine embassy at The Hague, headed by Ambassador Jaime Victor Ledda, is providing support and assistance to the delegation," Valte said.

IN PHOTOS: Philippine delegation in South China Sea arbitration

The entire delegation is composed of 48 individuals, including six Philippine ambassadors from different posts in Europe, counsel, advocates, expert witnesses and support staff. Some of those in the team are:

  • Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio,
  • Associate Justice and former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza,
  • Representative Rodolfo Biazon, Chair of the Committee of National Defense and Security of the House of Representatives,
  • Solicitor General Florin Hilbay,
  • Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas,
  • Security Cluster Executive Director Emmanuel Bautista, and
  • Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

President Benigno Aquino III called on China to respect the rule of law following its massive land reclamation activities over the South China Sea.

"As the arbitration process we have entered into continues to its logical conclusion, we are hopeful that China would honor its word and respect the rule of law," Aquino said during his intervention at the 10th East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The tribunal earlier sided with the Philippines in the initial round of the case and issued its award on jurisdiction.

DOCUMENT: Tribunal's award on jurisdiction in South China Sea case

AMBASSADOR JAIME VICTOR LEDDA AQUINO ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE OF NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CHINA DELEGATION DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MENARDO GUEVARRA DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE QUOT SOLICITOR GENERAL FLORIN HILBAY SOUTH CHINA SEA
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