DAVAO CITY – The United Kingdom has expressed its support to the Philippine stand on the West Philippine Sea.
British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad said “the UK position is very straightforward, we believe in rules-based approach to resolve issues and we support the Philippines in the way that they want to use the process of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea).”
Ahmad was in Davao City last week to visit various British investments in Davao Region.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague in Netherlands ruled last October 29 that they have the jurisdiction hear the case filed by the Philippines rejecting China’s claims that the West Philippine Sea dispute is a matter of territorial sovereignty.
In a Philippine Information Agency dispatch, Ahmad said that the UK position is more on pursuing a rules-based approach and not on accepting whether the Philippines or China has sovereign rights over the disputed features in the West Philippine Sea.
China has rejected the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and has said it will not be recognize the jurisdiction of the court.
Ahmad said that the UK will not want any escalation in the disputed maritime waters and his country will exercise its right of passage over the waters and air corridors.
“We will exercise our rights, whenever it is our wish and our right to navigate thru the maritime passage or to use the air corridors they are international space and no can stop us from using those,” he said.