MANILA—Although Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has already made known his decision not to bring up the arbitration ruling on the South China Sea with China during the ASEAN Summit, Sen. Panfilo Lacson remains hopeful that the President would change his mind.
“We should not miss the ASEAN Summit to avail ourselves with that opportunity, lest we would regret it,” Lacson said in a statement.
He made this remark after Pres. Duterte said that the sea ruling would not be tackled during the summit since he knew that China could not be pressured.
The President also said that it would not be brought up because sovereignty over disputed territories is not an issue in the ASEAN and only between China and the Philippines.
Lacson, however, pointed out that several studies show that arbitrary rulings are “normally defied if not ignored by losing claimants of contested territories, albeit temporarily.”
He further said that countries “almost always eventually give up and comply with the ruling due to international pressure.”
The senator, meanwhile, agreed with Pres. Duterte that the dispute between the Philippines and China “cannot be resolved militarily.”
“He (the President) may be correct, though, that decided disputes cannot be resolved militarily, even assuming that we can match China’s military hardware and troops. The same studies say as much,” he added.