Palace: Only SC order can stop China-funded Chico River project
MANILA, Philippines – There is no stopping the construction of the China-funded Chico River Pump Irrigation unless the Supreme Court (SC) tells the government to do so, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after Makabayan lawmakers said they would question the constitutionality of the $62-million Chico River Pump Irrigation Loan Agreement between the Philippines and China before the SC.
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said the loan package for the project has “dangerous provisions” that could lead to a “total sell-out of national sovereignty.”
“Well, the Palace always welcomes any move to question its action if they feel it’s not within the law,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
He, however, said the project would push through if there would be no court order to stop it.
“Well, if there is no order from the Supreme Court stopping then, it’s a go,” he said.
Aside from the Chico River project, environmental and indigenous groups have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to cancel the Kaliwa Dam project.
Panelo, who is also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel of the President, said Duterte would “consider’ their suggestion.
Various environmental groups and local officials have opposed the Kaliwa Dam project saying it would displace indigenous peoples and will have an adverse effect on the environment.
“The President will consider all the suggestions, and then decide eventually whether he will respond favorably or not. The President is always open to that. He listens,” Panelo said. /kga
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