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5 years after Hague ruling, LP hails PNoy's 'brave, strong' governance

Philstar.com
5 years after Hague ruling, LP hails PNoy's 'brave, strong' governance
This picture shows the urn of former Philippine president Benigno Aquino during a public viewing at the Church of Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University in Manila on June 25, 2021.
Mark CRISTINO / POOL / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party on Sunday expressed gratitude to the late former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III for leading the country in asserting its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

In January 2013, the Aquino administration initiated an arbitration against China's expansive claims in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea, before a United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. 

"We celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Hague ruling, and express our gratitude to PNoy and the rest of the patriots instrumental in this effort," the LP added.

This statement comes a day before the fifth anniversary of the July 12, 2016 arbitral ruling, which invalidated Beijing's so-called nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

READ: How the Hague court ruled on the Philippines’s 15 arguments

The opposition party stressed that the landmark ruling "is as much a promise as it is a reminder of what good, brave, strong governance can yield."

"We stood up to them at the onset and now so many others are doing the same. We stood up to China because it was the right thing to do," the LP said quoting Aquino upon receiving the JW Diokno awards in February.

As the Philippines commemorates the arbitral ruling, the country also commemorates such leadership that made the victory possible, the LP said.

"To treat this ruling as merely a piece of paper is to lack the courage and resolve required of leadership," the opposition party said.

In May, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Hague court ruling was a "piece of paper" that he will just "throw away."

While the Aquino administration initiated the arbitration against China, the Duterte administration "set aside" the arbitral award to seek stronger ties with Beijing.

"Iyang papel sa totoong buhay between nations, iyang papel wala 'yan. Kung sino 'yong tigas, United States, Britain 'yan, pagka ginusto nilang ganyan gawin. Tayo nanalo. Ngayon pagdating ko ang barko nandiyan sa West Philippine Sea, China boat, ship, tayo wala na," Duterte said in May.

(That paper in reality between nations, that paper is nothing. Whoever is tough, the United States, the United Kingdom, they can do whatever they want. We won. When I came into office the ships where already in the West Philippine Sea, Chinese boats, we have nothing.) — Patricia Lourdes Viray

BENIGNO AQUINO III

LIBERAL PARTY

SOUTH CHINA SEA

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

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