ITLOS judgment was ill-founded: Xinhua News Agency. PNA thoughtlessly reposted inviting protests. Communications Secretary asks for explanation.

ITLOSjudgment criticized. and reuters and reuters

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China has been the big bad bully of the South China Sea with running disputes with almost the whole neighborhood. The July 2016 ruling by the International Tribunal on the Laws of the Seas (ITLOS) ruling denied China’s longstanding claims.

While denying all claims of the superpower, the tribunal awarded most of the disputed structures to the Philippines.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) had posted online an article that criticized the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling. In effect, it was contrary to the stand taken by the government and all Filipinos.

This was contrary to local and regional sentiments since most people considered the verdict as victory over the traditional enemy.

But, China simply looked away.

Now, the Presidential Palace of the Philippines, Malacanang is incensed with the Philippines News Agency (PNA). Consequently, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has demanded an explanation.

Andanar told reporters that he addressed an official note to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) asking them the reason for publishing an opinion from the Xinhua News Agency.

The PNA should have reposted the article only after going through the article. The sentiments regarding the dispute are well-known to all; hence, PNA should have considered Filipino sentiments.

Unfortunately, the publication had called the ruling as ill-founded.
In the memo, Andanar asked the news agency to explain in writing their reasons for posting an article that was offensive to the Filipino public.

In the event of the reply, not being satisfactory, we will initiate proper action, Andanar stated.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) posted the article on its website on Sunday. It bore the heading -Time to turn a new leaf on South China Sea issue.

The article praised the efforts and approach of China in helping stabilize the situation in the region. It reserved praise for the wisdom and sincerity of China.

The Philippines was the first country to approach the Permanent Court of arbitration at The Hague. However, President Duterte did not gloat over the legal victory in the case; nor did he seek to enforce the ruling.

Instead, he extended the hand of friendship towards China. The South China Sea witnesses about $5 trillion of cargo passing through its corridors annually.

There was widespread criticism from all over when PNA hosted the article on the PNA website.
The PNA’s posting of the Xinhua story drew protests from Filipinos online. PNA is a partner of Xinhua News Agency and keeps re-posting their articles.

Moreover, being the mouthpiece of the Chinese government, the Xinhua News Agency cares little for the feelings of others.
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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Thursday, August 10, 2017