In a sudden shift from his previous position, president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently said he will assert the 2016 arbitral award on the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines, describing it as a “very important ruling in our favor.”

In previous interviews, Marcos Jr. has repeatedly said that arbitration was “no longer an option” in addressing the problem and that negotiating a bilateral agreement was the only way to go.


In a press briefing with select members of the media on May 26, Marcos Jr. said the Philippines will “not allow a single square millimeter” of the country’s maritime rights “to be trampled upon” under his administration.

Asked if would raise the arbitral award, which invalidated China’s expansive nine-dash line claim in the disputed area, with Beijing,  he said:

“Ay hindi na natin (We will not) – nasa atin na ‘yung (it is already with us, the) arbitral ruling. So we will uh, of course we will … we have a very important ruling in our favor. And we will use it to continue to assert our territorial rights. It’s not a claim; it is already our territorial right, and that is what the arbitral ruling can do to help us.”

Source: Bongbong Marcos official Facebook page, LIVE: Interview with President-elect Bongbong Marcos, May 26, 2022, watch from 1:04:37 to 1:05:17


Four months ago, then-presidential aspirant Marcos Jr. argued that the Philippines was “left with only one option” in dealing with its overlapping claims with China on the West Philippine Sea: bilateral agreement.

Read the full story on VERA Files Fact Check.

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