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30 March 2014

Thank you everyone for your presence here on a Sunday.

Today, the Philippines submitted its Memorial to the Arbitral Tribunal that is hearing the case it brought against the People’s Republic of China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in January 2013.

The Philippines’ Memorial was submitted in conformity with the Rules of Procedure adopted by the five-member Arbitral Tribunal last August, which established 30 March 2014 as the due date for its submission.

The Memorial presents the Philippines’ case on the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal and the merits of its claims. It consists of ten volumes. Volume I, which is 270 pages in length, contains the Philippines’ analysis of the applicable law and the relevant evidence, and demonstrates that the Arbitral Tribunal has jurisdiction over all of the claims made by the Philippines’ in its Statement of Claim, and that every claim is meritorious. It sets out the specific relief sought by the Philippines in regard to each of its claims, and shows why it is entitled to such relief.

Volumes II through X contain the documentary evidence and maps that support the Philippines’ claims, all of which are cited in Volume I. Volumes II through X consist of more than 3,700 pages, including more than 40 maps, for a total submission of nearly 4,000 pages.

The Memorial is the result of an enormous, collaborative effort by the extremely capable and dedicated legal team that has been serving the Philippines in this important case, headed by Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza and a team of lawyers from various agencies, including the OSG, DFA, DOJ, and the Office of the President.

I also wish to thank other government agencies for their invaluable contribution in the generation of documents including:

  • The Department of Justice (DOJ);
  • The Department of National Defense (DND), particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Navy, and Philippine Air Force (PAF) ;
  • The Department of Transportation and Communications, particularly the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG);
  • The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, specifically the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA);
  • The Department of Energy (DOE);
  • The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR);
  • The Foreign Service Institute (FSI);
  • And other agencies such as National Museum, National Historical Commission, National Archives, DILG’s Philippine National Police,  Municipality of Kalayaan,  and the UP Marine Science Institute.

We are also most grateful to our international legal advisers led by Paul Reichler and his team of international lawyers, including Mr. Lawrence H. Martin, Professor Bernard H. Oxman, Professor Philippe Sands, and Professor Alan Boyle for their invaluable guidance and assistance.

Ordinarily, the next step in an arbitration of this nature would be the filing of a Counter-Memorial by the other Party. However, it is currently unknown whether China will appear in the case, or whether it will continue its present policy of abstaining from the proceedings. Under the Rules of Procedure, the Arbitral Tribunal will decide on next steps and advise the Parties.

The Philippines will follow the guidance of the Arbitral Tribunal in regard to the publication of the Memorial. In the meantime, out of respect for the Tribunal and the arbitral process, it is obliged to preserve confidentiality.

With firm conviction, the ultimate purpose of the Memorial is our national interest.

It is about defending what is legitimately ours.

It is about securing our children's future.

It is about guaranteeing freedom of navigation for all nations.

It is about helping to preserve regional peace, security and stability.

And finally, it is about seeking not just any kind of resolution but a just and durable solution grounded on International Law.

Thank you very much indeed for your kind attention.


Philippine Ambassador Meets Saudi Human Right Commission President


22 February 2014

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mr. Ezzedin Tago met with H.E. Dr. Bandar Al-Aiban, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, on 17 February 2014 at the headquarters of the Commission in Riyadh.

During the meeting, both officials reviewed the results of the recent amnesty granted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and assessed the processes that allowed more than 150,000 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia to correct their status either through transfer of employment or through correction of their work category in their work permit.

Ambassador Tago thanked the Human Rights Commission President Dr. Al-Aiban for the opportunity to give feedback on the amnesty, and he conveyed appreciation to the King and the Saudi government for the amnesty period announced by the King.

Both officials also discussed other issues related the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia.





11 February 2014

Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom Saudi Arabia Mr. Ezzedin Tago met on 9 February 2014 with H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, the Speaker of the Majilis As-Shura (Consultative Council).

The Philippine Ambassador welcomed the desire of the Shura Council to enhance relations between the Majilis As-Shura and the Philippine Congress, and looked forward exchanges of visits between the two countries. Both officials also discussed various ways to enhance bilateral relations.

The Shura Speaker attended the 5th Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption hosted by the Philippines on 30 January to 2 February 2013 in Manila.

During the meeting, the Philippine Ambassador thanked the Kingdom for its support to the peace process in the southern Philippines, and for the recent assistance by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people to the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan.

The meeting was attended by the Shura Deputy Speaker Dr. Mohamad Al-Jefri and other officials from the Shura Council. From the Philippine side, Minister and Consul General Marshall Louis Alferez and Attache Mohamad Taha Guinomla attended the meeting.




(RIYADH, 21 January 2014) – The Ladies Group of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, led by Mdm. Jasmine J. Alferez, spouse of Minister and Consul-General Marshall Louis Alferez, hosted the first ASEAN Women’s Circle (AWC) General Meeting of the year at the Philippine Ambassador’s Residence in the Diplomatic Quarter on 16 January 2014.

The meeting was attended by the spouses of the Ambassadors of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Viet Nam, and senior lady representatives from Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

The AWC discussed its plans for activities during the current year, including visits to renowned Saudi cultural sites and the holding of competitive sporting events. The AWC also bid farewell to its members who were ending their tour of duty in Riyadh this quarter.

The event was also an opportunity to promote Philippine culinary traditions as reflected by the all-Filipino menu and topped by a demonstration on how to create the best halo-halo dessert.

The AWC is an informal group composed of ladies from the different ASEAN diplomatic missions in Riyadh aimed at celebrating the diversity of Southeast Asian culture and the oneness of the ASEAN identity.

Apart from its participation in the AWC, the Philippine Embassy Ladies Group also strives to undertake activities that help promote Philippine culture to the wider public in Saudi Arabia. (END)