Philippines prepared for oral arguments on sea row
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is prepared for the second round of oral arguments on the merits of the case filed before an international arbitral court questioning China’s massive claims in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

The Philippine delegation is in The Hague, the Netherlands for the first round of hearings on the merits of the case filed with the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The hearings were expected to begin on Nov. 24 and last until Nov. 30.

Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and principal counsel Paul Reichler briefed the Philippine delegation on the expected conduct of the proceedings.

“We are cautiously optimistic, having already surmounted the issue of jurisdiction,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.

The Philippine delegation is headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and comprises 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.

The official delegation includes – aside from Hilbay – Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justice and former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, House committee on national defense and security Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas, Security Cluster executive director Emmanuel Bautista, and deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Of the total 48 individuals in the delegation, six were ambassadors to European countries and only 17 were Manila-based.

AMBASSADOR JAIME VICTOR LEDDA ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CHARLES JOSE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS EMMANUEL BAUTISTA EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MENARDO GUEVARRA FOREIGN AFFAIRS FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT PAUL REICHLER PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION POLITICAL AFFAIRS SECRETARY RONALD LLAMAS
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