By Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. - The award (decision) issued by the Arbitral Tribunal in the Philippines v. China arbitration creates the impression that this was a knockout (as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer put it) for the Philippines because of the following reasons: the award was adopted unanimously; the Solicitor General declared that China’s preliminary objections have been eliminated ; and China rejected the award.
My hubby Alan made this initial assessment for South China Morning Post (HK) on the eve of President Benigno Aquino's last State of the Nation Address (SONA). It's only initial because so much can still happen in his last year in office. Our thanks to Dr. Mahar Mangahas of Social Weather Stations who agreed to be interviewed even while he was busy abroad. And to Aurelio German, who was first interviewed when Aquino was running for office in 2010. Reli German lends a historical perspective.
Reichler said: 29 minutes, 22 seconds into the forum: “The Philippines had spent many years – actually negotiations go back to 1995 – mainly bilateral, some multilateral, and at no point was any progress made in reaching any kind of a solution bilaterally. China simply held to the position that China has sovereignty and sovereign rights within the nine-dash […]
Vietnam has suddenly joined the Philippines in arbitration court to contest China's claim over nearly all of South China Sea. The Philippines has been long wooing Vietnam to do just this. Perhaps China's aggressive action this year made Hanoi finally make up its mind to join the international suit against its former colonial master China.
The state dinner for POTUS was delicious. The guest list was something else. It was so weird that my hubby Alan just had to write it for South China Morning Post. Here is his story: Guess who came to dinner: Obama's Philippines reception featured a colourful cast - By Alan Robles
Just my opinion - By Raïssa Robles - I eagerly awaited what US President Barack Obama would say about the Philippine dispute with China over the Spratlys. I was glad to hear ABS-CBN reporter RG Cruz asked Obama the question: "Will the US defend the Philippines in case the territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea become an armed conflict?"
By Raissa Robles - Globe Telecom issued the statement below in response to my piece about a passenger on a plane hovering around Ayungin Shoal receiving a text message on his mobile saying "Welcome to China".
A passenger on board the plane that was circling over the supply ship delivering provisions to Ayungin Shoal got the text message below on his Nokia phone while in that area.
“The United States for the first time has explicitly rejected the U-shaped, nine-dash line that China uses to assert sovereignty over nearly the whole South China Sea, experts say, strengthening the position of rival claimants and setting the stage for what could be an international legal showdown with Beijing,” according to journalist Parameswaran Ponnudurai.