Today, we join the Filipino people in celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Arbitral Award. It is a milestone in our country’s history as it affirms our claim over the West Philippine Sea. The award is final and executory.
We also welcome the support of other nations who consider the award as having the force of international law. We likewise appreciate their serious concerns over excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
On this anniversary, we once again urge all interested parties to heed the call for a rules-based international order and refrain from acts that may exacerbate the tense situation in the area.
The Award provided, not only the Philippines but the rest of the world, with a framework for greater cooperation and understanding of complex maritime conflicts.
Consistent with Philippine national policy, we shall continue to seek all avenues to achieve a peaceful and friendly management of all standing maritime disputes.
Delfin N. Lorenzana
Department of National Defense