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DFA launches microsite on 7th anniversary of Philippines’ arbitral win

DFA launches microsite on 7th anniversary of PH’s arbitral win

In commemoration of the seventh anniversary of the arbitral award favoring the Philippines in its case against China, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday launched a microsite featuring relevant materials and information that led to the victory.

DFA said that the microsite, "Not One Inch," provides the public a central resource for official information and positions on the award and its contributions to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and international law.

It includes the material submitted to The Hague Tribunal made available by the Permanent Court of Arbitration; the statements of the DFA on the South China Sea Arbitration; the legal and geographic scope of the West Philippine Sea; answers to frequently asked questions; and links to other resources relevant to the subject.

"We understand that the issue is complex and may be confusing, so this is an attempt to clear some of the fog," DFA Assistant Secretary Maria Angela Ponce said in a statement.

"It is a work-in-progress site, but I feel it is an important start to gaining a better understanding of the complex issues faced by the Philippines in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea."

The Philippine government sued China before an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague in 2013. Three years later, or in July 2016, the court ruled in favor of the Philippineswhen it junked China's nine-dash claim over the South China Sea.

China, however, rejected the Philippines' call to comply with the 2016 arbitration ruling, calling the decision "illegal and invalid.”

For his part, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had said that the Philippines will not give up an inch of its territory, including the West Philippine Sea, amid the reported aggression of China in the territory.

On the seventh anniversary of the historic ruling, both the United States and the European Union have voiced their support to the award. —Giselle Ombay/KBK, GMA Integrated News