MANILA- The Philippines' former foreign affairs chief Albert del Rosario insisted Friday on raising Manila's legal victory against Beijing on the South China Sea dispute before the United Nations (UN) even though Malacañang said doing so would be "futile."
Del Rosario explained that the Philippines should still bring up the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling to the UN so that it could be heard by nearly 200 world leaders.
"The UN serves as not only the primary promoter of the rule of law but also the court of world public opinion," he said in a statement.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Friday rejected Del Rosario's call, saying resolving the maritime dispute "is a matter of executive strategy."
"The United Nations, as an inter-governmental organization, has no enforcement force to implement the subject arbitral award," Panelo said.
Panelo argued that raising the arbitral ruling would only "give international pressure to China relative to our conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea."
"Given our country's ongoing peaceful negotiations with China, we do not need any type of measure, such as this suggestion. It may only have an adverse effect on our continuing diplomatic and friendly talks on the issue," he said.
Del Rosario, however, expressed confidence on Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.'s ability to "undertake what is required in moving forward our case on the arbitral tribunal outcome."
"As we suggested earlier, it would take time and hard work but it can be done," he said.
China did not participate in the international arbitration and does not recognize the verdict.