BBM eyes deal in ending WPS row

September 7, 2022

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said Tuesday the Philippines may “explore” the strategy used in the signing of the 2014 sea border agreement with Indonesia to settle its long-standing maritime dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea.

The agreement was reached after more than two decades of negotiations. It sets the exclusive economic zone borders between the Philippines and Indonesia in the Mindanao and Celebes seas.

“Well, I think it is worthwhile to explore at the very least because it is one instance that this kind of discussion we came to a resolution. So, we should try it,” Marcos said.

“Now, hopefully, it works. If it doesn’t work, we will try something else, but at least we have a beginning point. That’s how I see it.”

Earlier, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Indonesia and the Philippines have committed to improving negotiations on the delimitation of the continental shelf based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“I was very interested in was on the delimitation talks between Indonesia and the Philippines. First of all, we had delimitation talks to establish the baseline,” he said.

The 2014 sea border agreement was ratified by former President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2017 and by the Indonesian Parliament in April 2017.

Manila completed the two-step domestic procedure when the Philippine Senate concurred with the executive ratification in June 2019.

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