Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

In the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperation event held in Malaysia, President Aquino reiterated that the ASEAN should not allow any country, no matter how powerful to claim an entire sea as its own and use to force in asserting such claim.

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“We have not resolved, even amongst Asean members, the competing claims especially among the Spratlys. These improvements further complicate and increase the difficulty of coming to compromises that will be necessary to prevent further tension from rising,” he said.

“Therefore, moving forward, it is incumbent upon us to develop a post-2015 ASEAN Connectivity Agenda that articulates both our aspirations and the complexities we have to contend with,” said Aquino.

“These complexities include the recent developments in the sea to the west of my country, which our peoples know by many names. As I have stated many times in the past, our collective prosperity requires stability in the region. This has come under threat by unilateral actions such as the massive reclamation and building of structures on features in the Spratly islands, which have urgent and far-reaching implications to the region and the international community,” he said.

“Excellencies, Your Majesty, the Philippines has always adhered to the rule of law, and our decision to resort to arbitration reflects our belief that it is a transparent, friendly, durable, and peaceful dispute settlement mechanism that can bring stability to the region,” said Aquino.

“The Philippines remains committed to pursuing arbitration to its final conclusion, and will abide by its decisions,” he said.

Aquino will never give up the claim and will intensify it more until the final ruling next year, June 2016.