DFA chief to issue statement after arbitration court ruling

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay will issue a statement once the United Nations (UN) arbitral tribunal makes a decision later today regarding the Philippines’ case filed against China on the dispute at the West Philippine Sea, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in press briefing on Tuesday in Malacanang.

“Regarding the arbitration, the DFA Secretary will be the sole spokesperson regarding the matter. He will be releasing a statement as soon as the decision is released,” Abella said.

Asked about the possible scenarios if the UN court rules in favor of the Philippines or against it, Abella said that aside from the entire Cabinet, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be meeting the security cluster and pertinent Cabinet members.

“Everything will have to be subject to a discussion. After all, it’s going to be a lengthy decision and there will be a number of details that need to be properly threshed out before any statement is made publicly,” Abella said.

The Palace official asked the members of the press to wait for the court ruling, assuring them that the administration’s top priority will be the country’s national interest. A decision is expected to be handed down by the Hague-based tribunal at 5 p.m. today (Manila time). PND