PH prepping to present sea claims at The Hague

By , on June 16, 2015

International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland (Shutterstock)
International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland (Shutterstock)

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced the Philippine government’s scheduled hearing at The Hague — a United Nations court in the Netherlands — next month to present its case for the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“Right now we are preparing for the oral arguments in The Hague on July 7 to 13. Our team from Manila and from the United States will be flying there,” said DFA spokesman Charles Jose.

The Philippine delegation, consisting of officials and diplomats, will represent the country during the hearings. Lawyers from the United States will assist the delegation as well.

The United States and Japan have both expressed deep concern over China’s increasing activities in the disputed areas — including the building of numerous facilities at sea and the aggressive presence of the Chinese Coast Guard patrolling the area.

Over the years, China has been claiming a huge part of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), which contains rich marine and mineral resources.

Together with the Philippines, the countries of Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Taiwan have disputed China’s claims over the disputed area.

The initial case was presented by the Philippines in January 2013 to declare China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea as a violation of international laws.