Duterte on PH court win over China: ‘That’s just paper; I’ll throw that in the wastebasket’
MANILA, Philippines — The victory of the Philippines over China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is just a “piece of paper,” trash to be thrown away, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his pre-recorded briefing that aired on Wednesday night, May 5, 2021.
“They filed a cased. We won. That paper, in real life, between nations, is nothing,” Duterte said in Filipino.
“In the language of hoodlums, I will tell you, give it to me and I will tell you: [CURSES]. That’s just paper. I will throw that away in the wastebasket.”
[Original statement: “Sa usapang bugoy, sabihin ko sa’yo, ibigay mo sa akin, sabihin ko sa’yo: ‘P**ang in,* papel lang ‘yan. Itatapon ko ‘yan sa waste basket.”]
In 2013, the Philippines under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III challenged in the Hague court China’s claim that it owned more than 80 percent of the South China Sea, which includes waters in the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
In 2016, two weeks after Duterte assumed office in 2016, the tribunal ruled that China’s claim had no basis in international law and that it had violated the Philippines’ sovereign right to fish and explore resources in the West Philippine Sea, the waters within the country’s 370-km exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.
China has consistently refused to acknowledge the 2016 ruling
Duterte, nonetheless, raised the Hague ruling during his online speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, saying that “the Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 arbitral award.”
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