It’s not over: After legal battle comes diplomatic offensive

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Diplomatic moves should follow after the settlement of the legal issues in the Philippine maritime case against China — to finally resolve tensions between the two countries.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay — who were both key members of the Philippine legal team — said in an interview with CNN Philippines Wednesday that now that the arbitration ruling has been handed down, diplomats and negotiators could use the arguments in the case as basis for their next move.

“What does the decision mean? That becomes a spring board for the diplomatic action,” Jardeleza said.

Hilbay pointed out, with the win in the arbitration, the legal case has been terminated. He said diplomats “must be able to take advantage of the decision to rally the cause.”

Jardeleza added, they would be hoping for the best for the country’s negotiators and diplomats — as they would now enter a new phase in claiming the disputed area in the West Philippine Sea.

“God speed... Get the most out of this win,”  Jardeleza said.

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