Calling WPS arbitration ruling ‘empty victory’ is unusual: Justice Carpio

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said that National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana describing the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) award on West Philippine Sea as empty victory is unusual.

“China has called the arbitral ruling as an ‘empty victory.’ So it’s unusual that our own defense secretary is calling it also an empty victory,” Justice Carpio told the Inquirer.

Justice Carpio said the ruling is not an empty victory because the naval powers of the world are enforcing that part of the ruling by sailing in the high seas and the exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea.

“The ruling is being used by the naval powers of the world to sail and to fly in the high seas and the EEZs in the South China Sea. [They] are actually enforcing that part of the ruling,” he said.

On July 23, Secretary Lorenzana said the actions of the past administration “was to go to the PCA – an international arbitral court – a body not under the UN and doesn’t have enforcement mechanism.”

“China did not participate. We won but it is an empty victory: the Chinese won’t leave our EEZ and instead it continues to assert its historical rights over the areas within the Nine-Dash-Line,” Lorenzana said.

“One cannot accuse the President of inaction because after his bilateral [talks] with [Chinese President Xi Jinping], our fishermen returned to Panatag to fish, we can resupply our troops on our islands without interference, an agreement was made that both parties cannot occupy new features and none [of them] has done [anything] so far in compliance with this, and there is talk of joint development of gas and oil resources in the area, tourism and trade has flourished specially export of [agricultural] products,” the defense chief said.