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After Arbitration ruling, Ph government to proceed with sobriety, restraint

MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang echoed on Wednesday the call of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for restraint and sobriety after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China in the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
”If I had any comments, this is basically, like I said, we are going by the official statement released by the DFA Secretary. And basically it is that we welcome the ruling. However, we proceed with caution, with restraint and sobriety,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in an ambush media interview in the Palace.
With the much-awaiting ruling of the international arbitral tribunal on Tuesday, Abella expressed confidence that “everything will be for the common good.”
”Especially for those who are directly involved, including the fishermen, but let us wait for the right response at the right time,” he said.
In an official statement, DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay said the Philippine law experts “are studying the award with care and thoroughness that this significant outcome deserves.”
”In the meantime, we call on all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety,” Yasay said.
When asked for President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s reaction to the ruling, Abella just said: “It was a very responsible response.”

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.