Philippine legal team to present West Philippine Sea case today

THIS IS IT! The Philippine legal team is all set for the first hearing day of case against China’s ambitious U-shaped, nine-dashed line map claiming virtually the entire West Philippine Sea. “The first day of hearing will start at 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement. Valte is in Netherlands with the Philippine delegation.

The legal team will be presenting Philippines’ arguments before the five-member Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

“The Philippines is set to present its case regarding the matter of jurisdiction before the Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Peace Palace at The Hague, Netherlands,” Valte added. “Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, as agent of the Philippines, will open the presentation. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will speak on the reason for the filing of the Philippines’ case.”

“Thereafter, lawyers from Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag, led by Paul Reichler will present the arguments regarding jurisdiction,” the presidential spokesperson said.

Philippines is being represented by Solicitor General Florin T. Hilbay as Agent. Counsels are Paul S. Reichler and Lawrence H. Martin from law firm Foley Hoag LLP in Washington DC; Professor Bernard H. Oxman from University of Miami School of Law; Professor Philippe Sands QC from Matrix Chambers in London; and Professor Alan Boyle Essex Court Chambers in London.

The entire Philippine delegation will be present to witness the proceedings. The delegation includes Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Francis Jardeleza, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Benjamin Caguioa, Sandiganbayan Justice Sarah Fernandez, Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista, and Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.