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One against war

The Philippine Society of International Law (PSIL) released a statement on Thursday, March 17, that they it backed the position of the United Nations and Philippine government in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Filipino lawyers called out Russia’s violation of the UN Charter which prohibits states from using armed force against “the territorial integrity or political independence of other states.”

“Calling it (Russia’s actions) ‘special military operations’ or any other term does not change the character of Russia’s actions as a full-scale invasion and an unlawful use of force,” PSIL said in the statement.

“The PSIL joins the international community in calling for a return to the paths of diplomacy in order to resolve soonest these disputes through peaceful means, and the immediate cessation of hostilities and violations of human rights and other acts that could amount to international crimes,” it added.

The war in Ukraine is nearing its fourth week since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24. International outrage continues to mount after the bombing attacks have become more brutal and indiscriminate, even targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in areas that refuse to surrender to the invading Russian forces.

The PSIL also urged Russia to comply with the International Court of Justice ruling that directed Moscow to “immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine.” The ruling was handed down on March 16, after Ukraine turned to the UN’s highest court to seek an injunction against Russia’s incursions in the country.

The worry in the Philippines is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could set a dangerous precedent for other states, especially in Asia, where territorial and maritime disputes are of great concern to the Philippines. As we do what we can to support Ukraine and call out the calling out the immoral and illegal actions of despots like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Filipinos are also hopeful that other world leaders who are closely watching developments will learn a sobering lesson from the response and sanctions of governments, the United Nations, the ICJ, and the international community as a whole.*

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