Hontiveros hits joint exploration pact: ‘Dehadong-dehado ang Pilipinas’
President Rodrigo Duterte “failed” to uphold the country’s sovereignty as well as the Constitution when he signed a draft on the joint oil and gas exploration.
Malacañang has yet to reveal details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development, including the location where the fuel search will take place.
But Senator Risa Hontiveros referred to an alleged draft of the agreement that was purportedly leaked to the media.
“Dehadong-dehado ang Pilipinas sa kasunduan,” Hontiveros said.
“If the leaked copy of the agreement is proven authentic, President Duterte signed a document that did not assert our Constitution and sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea against China’s discredited nine-dash line, which lays claim to every shoal, reef and islet in the region,” she added.
The opposition senator also decried how the agreement did not include a 60-40 equity rule, which she noted was required in the 1987 Constitution.
She also criticized the confidentiality clause in the agreement, which states that “any document, information or data concerning the joint exploration shall be kept confidential.”
Moreover, Hontiveros pointed out that the dispute settlement provision of the agreement “favors so-called friendly consultations instead of arbitration and other multilateral approaches.”
She then urged the government’s executive branch to disclose the full details of the joint exploration agreement as well as the 28 other agreements signed by the Philippines and China in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“The people need to scrutinize all these documents. We need to know whether or not these agreements are compatible with our sovereign and territorial interests and in full compliance with our international obligations, particularly the arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said.
“The Senate must lead this initiative given that it has material interest in ensuring that the foreign policy adopted by the Executive is in the best interest of Filipino citizens,” she added. /kga
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