'We're ready,' says Valte on West Philippine Sea case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — "So far, so good. We're ready."

That was the answer of Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, on Monday evening (July 7), when she was asked by CNN Philippines' chief correspondent, Pia Hontiveros, about the preparations for the first round of presentation of its case to assert its claims over the West Philippine Sea.

A team of high-ranking government officials will present before the Arbitral Tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, the Netherlands the Philippines' arguments.

Related: The Hague arguments: Philippine case against China explained

Hours before the start of the Philippine delegation's presentations, Valte said: "Everyone is in good spirits."

She added the scheduled hearings for the first day would be limited to the afternoon, but the whole of the second day would be given for hearings.

For the succeeding days, Valte said: "The delegation has reserved a few days just in case the tribunal decides that there should be a second round or if the tribunal decides to circulate questions for the second round. In any case, the delegation will be on hand for any eventuality if the tribunal decides to extend the hearings as it may be necessary."

Valte said despite their excitement the Philippine delegation remained "cautiously optimistic" about the hearings.

She added: "Hopefully, if the tribunal looks upon on our case in our favor, in terms of our jurisdiction, then we will be preparing for another challenge — which is to present merits of our case."

Valte also said that they would be sending out updates.

"We will all sit down after the first round of the hearings and then we can discuss what we can release," she said. "We're very careful also to follow the protocols of the tribunal, owing to the fact that these have been declared confidential proceedings."

The country is asking the Arbitral Tribunal to declare China's nine-dash line void.

The Philippine delegation to the Hague is made up of:

Supreme Court Justice Francis Jardeleza

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio

Solicitor General Florin Hilbay

House Speaker Felliciano Belmonte Jr.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Cabinet Security Cluster Executive Director Manny Bautista

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Benjamin Caguioa

Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevara

Sandiganbayan Justice Sarah Fernandez

CNN Philippines' JC Gotinga contributed to this report