My official statement on the ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration

by Sankage Steno

As your future president, I join the Filipino people in celebrating the monumental ruling of the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines. Suck it, China.

I am elated to read about the decision of the PCA regarding the Philippines’ jurisdiction over our exclusive rights in our economic zone. Truth be told, I have not read the summary of the ruling yet, only the headlines on my Facebook feed. Because free data.

Still, suck it, China.

I sincerely thank the PCA for their fair and unequivocal judgment—fair because it is favorable to us. Also, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to all the people who worked hard to make this victory possible:

Former President Noynoy Aquino, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., former Defense Secretary Voltiare Gazmin, former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, former Solicitors-General Francis Jardeleza and Florin Hilbay, Presidential Legal Counsel and now Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, Sandigan Justice Sarah Fernandez, former Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista and Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, former Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto Jr. and former Undersecretary Abigail Valte.

I also reiterate my gratitude to the lawyers and experts who assisted our team, as led by Paul Reichler of the Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag. So call me, maybe.

Finally, I want to thank in advance President Rodrigo Duterte who earlier during the campaigns expressed his intention to ride a Jet Ski to reach the Spratly islands in the West Philippine Sea and erect the Philippine flag there. I fervently hope that you will make good on your promise. Bon voyage!

With this, I hope that both parties will respect the ruling made yesterday and that the dispute be solved peacefully. Now that the rules have been made even clearer by the PCA, we can now move forward as a global community. Let me make that clear: Move forward, not move on.

So, suck it, China.