President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement during the 75th United Nations General Assembly asserting the Philippines’ arbitral win over China on the West Philippine Sea still stands, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.

In a televised speech last May 5, Duterte said that he would “throw away” the Philippines’ arbitral win over China’s claims on the West Philippine Sea in 2016.

The DFA stressed that Duterte’s statement before the UN last September 2020 “stands as the supreme expression of foreign policy on the West Philippine Sea issue.”

During the assembly, Duterte said that the victory became part of international law and should not be undermined.

“The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” he said. “We firmly reject attempts to undermine it.”

The DFA stated that it would continue to “implement the president’s foreign policy statement in accordance with Phillippine national interest.”

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration upheld the Philippines’s exclusive economic zone and ruled that China’s “nine-dash line” claim to almost all of South China Sea has no legal basis. Charlene Grace Lao.