Palace to wait for SolGen’s interpretation on South China Sea ruling
( - July 12, 2016 - 9:03pm

MANILA, July 12 (Philippine News Agency) – Malacañang on Tuesday said it would wait for the Office of the Solicitor General’s interpretation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on the Philippines arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea.

RELATED: The verdict: Philippines wins arbitration case vs China

”We shall wait for SolGen’s interpretation of the ruling,” Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message to the Malacañang media.

Andanar said Solicitor General Jose Calida shall provide President Rodrigo Duterte with a synopsis of the ruling on Wednesday morning.

He added that the complete and thorough interpretation of the ruling would be provided by the solicitor general within five days.

Earlier, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said national interest would be the priority whatever the outcome of the international arbitral tribunal’s decision.

”The top priority will be national interest. Definitely, national interest,” Abella said in a media briefing six hours before the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision came out.

In the meantime, Abella said Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay would be the sole spokesperson regarding the arbitration case.

”He will be the one speaking for and in behalf,” Abella said.

Abella added that the decision “will be subject to a discussion” by the entire Duterte Cabinet.

Yasay has welcomed the ruling on Tuesday by the arbitral tribunal constituted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration under Annex VIII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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

”The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to ongoing efforts in addressing disputes in the South China Sea. The decision upholds international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS,” he added.

Yasay said the Philippines “reiterates its abiding commitment to efforts to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of disputes with a view to promoting and enhancing peace and stability in the region.”

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