Bringing Scarborough Shoal issue to International Court is right move; Sen. Enrile

Philippine Senator Juan Ponce Enrile

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said yesterday that the move of the DFA to reiterate the invitation for China to bring the issue of Scarborough Shoal to the International Tribunal is the right thing to do.

"Now, I think the strategy that we adopted is a good one. We go to the International Court of Justice and show to the world that we are a peaceful country and we are adhering to the principles of International Law."

According to Enrile, the military capability of China is undeniably stronger than us. Thus, the only weapon that we have is diplomacy and the Rule of Law governing the Conduct of civilized countries.

Stressing that we have the evidence that the Scarborough Shoal belongs to our territory and that European powers that dominated us recognized this fact, Enrile claimed that we have a greater chance of having the case in our favor, adding that, "if indeed China believes that it has a strong case to claim and own Scarborough Shoal then, there's should be no hesitation on her part to join us in the International Court of Justice."

The Law governing the International Court of Justice requires the mutual consent of both parties in order for the case to be within its jurisdiction. Enrile said that, in case China would again turn down the DFA's proposition, it actually doesn't matter. At least we have proven our part that we are willing to bring the case to the International Tribunal and be judged by the International Court. Enrile even asserted that, "the fact that we are willing to submit the case to a peaceful settlement through the International Court of Justice is an indication that we believe in the legality of our own claim."

On the matters of whether the Scarborough Shoal issue between China and Philippines is a local or a global concern, Enrile explained that anything that disturbs the international peace is a concern of the world. Enrile cleared that, although it is not intended, everyone (the small nations of the world, including the small nations of South East Asia) is watching the move of China because, this appears to develop the appearance of being a predatory power.

Further, the reported military exercises conducted by China and Russia should not worry us too much. Although it is possible that this military exercise is a sign that Russia is backing up China on the Scarborough Shoal issue, it could also be possible that this could only be a mere coincidence, since Russia is a known ally of China.

"Baka naman that is just a coincidence because they are allies... Well, possible na nagpapakita sila na the Russia is willing to back-up China but, kung matatakot tayo eh, wala, parang magsu-surrender tayo. Bakit tayo matatakot," Enrile said.