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Poe hails Hague decision

Sen. Grace Poe

Sen. Grace Poe

Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares joined other lawmakers in lauding the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to take up the Philippines’ case against China on the West Philippine Sea issue.

Poe said the establishment of the court’s immediate jurisdiction over the cases filed the Philippine government filed against China brings the parties one step closer to resolving claims on the disputed maritime territory.

The Tribunal last week, declared that it is within its mandate to decide over seven out of the 15 issues raised by the Philippines, including the move to invalidate China’s nine-dash lines on the South China Sea.

The international tribunal has set hearings for the presentation of the merits of the case. It also clarified that China’s refusal to participate in the proceedings does not deprive them of jurisdiction.

The Philippines formally sought international arbitration in January 2013 amid continued incursions by China and after nearly two decades of bilateral talks.

The government also protested China’s aggressive military facilities on the disputed reefs.

“This is a significant step toward a peaceful resolution. We should all be proud of this victory,” said Poe who is running for president in the May 2016 elections.

“This just goes to show that we are capable of standing up for our territory, our nation and our rights,” she added. (Hannah Torregoza)