Speaker: Dr. Walden Bello

Date and time: Thursday July 21, 2016, 10am- 1pm

Location: Jacques Amyot Room, 4th floor, Wisit Prachuabmoh Building, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (building C93 on the map)

Co- organized by: Focus on the Global South, the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute

The long-awaited judgment of The Hague Tribunal on the conflicting maritime claims in the South China Sea will have a tremendous impact on relations among regional and international actors.  How will the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines react to what some have characterized as its unwanted gift from the previous Aquino administration?  Will China continue on its intransigent course?  Will the ruling encourage a more aggressive US military presence in the region?  Will the decision unite or divide ASEAN?  These are some of the questions that the forum with Dr. Bello will seek to answer.

Dr. Walden Bello served as a member of the House of Representatives for three terms, from 2009 to 2015.  He was the author of the House Resolution renaming the South China Sea the West Philippine Sea in 2012, a designation that was supported and eventually adopted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President of the Philippines.  He led a mission of Philippine legislators that flew to Pag-Asa Island in the Spratlys to express support for Philippine sovereignty in the area, a move that was bitterly criticized by China.  At the same time, he has been one of the foremost critics of the previous Aquino administration’s rush to involve Washington in the dispute and open up the Philippines to a more intensive US military presence.  He broke with the Aquino administration and resigned from parliament in March 2015 in what is regarded as the only resignation on principle in the history of the Philippine Congress.