THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday said the Philippines will explore all available mechanisms to discuss matters pertaining to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) before bringing the issue to the United Nations.
According to the tribunal's ruling, it found no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources within the Nine-Dash Line.
China has deployed rocket launchers to fend off Vietnamese combat divers on one of its man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea, Chinese state media reported Wednesday.
Santa Romana denied the Philippines had sold its sovereignty on the South China Sea to secure investment from China. The meeting took place in Guiyang, in Guizhou province.
"If the code of conduct will not have a so-called enforcement provision and will not have a dispute mechanism, it will again be in the nature of political declaration", he said.
The training exercise, held on an island on the small Natuna archipelago in the South China Sea, was reportedly aimed at bolstering maritime defences to protect Indonesia's special economic zone from perceived Chinese aggression amid frequent clashes between the two countries' vessels.
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"The Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ", he added.
China has built man-made islands on seven reefs in the sea, a move that has sparked tensions and triggered concerns among several nations, including the U.S.
In July previous year, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China and in favor of the Philippines in an arbitration case. The strategy has provoked intense reaction from other claimants and the US, which argues China's actions threaten the ability to navigate freely through the strategically important area.
All or parts of the islands and territorial waters in the South China Sea are disputed by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Brunei. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has downplayed that ruling as part of his push for a broad improvement in relations between the sides since taking office in June that has cast a shadow over Manila's ties to its longtime ally, the United States. ASEAN has always been divided over the issue of the South China Sea, with some of the non-claimant states in particular (with the notable exception of Indonesia and Singapore) having expressed reservations about pushing back too hard against Beijing on the issue. "But if you force the issue, we'll go to war, '" Duterte said.
Many global non-claimant nations, particularly the United States, however, want the South China Sea to remain as worldwide waters considering the fact that a high proportion of the world's trade passes through this region.
The senator made the assertion amid recurring reports of Chinese intrusions in WPS, even as he suggested: "Let us go on with our lives, continue doing business with China and invite them to invest here".