Padilla files reso urging Marcos to revive joint gas, oil talks with China
MANILA, Philippines — Neophyte Senator Robin Padilla has filed a resolution urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to revive bilateral talks with China for cooperation on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.
Padilla called for this through Senate Resolution No. 9, citing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development signed by both nations in November 2018.
“The new administration has the opportunity to resume the bilateral talks with the [People’s Republic of China] for purposes of cooperation in the West Philippine Sea on gas and oil development without bargaining the sovereign rights of the Philippines on the disputed territories,” he said in his resolution.
He then noted that the country “requires a long-term strategy to resolve its oil dependency from foreign sources as the country is vulnerable to the negative effect of the skyrocketing oil prices dictated by the world market’s reaction to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
Padilla also maintained that the MOU between the Philippines and China, which was recently terminated upon the directive of former President Rodrigo Duterte, presents “no derogation of the Philippines’ assertion of its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.”
The lawmaker also pointed out that implementing the MOU is a “valid exercise of the executive powers of the President who shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.”
“The President, as the primary architect of our foreign policy and as the head of the state, is allowed by the Constitution to make preliminary determinations on what, at any given moment, might urgently be required in order that our foreign policy may manifest our natural interest,” he further explained.
READ: Bongbong Marcos wants PH-China ties to go beyond West PH Sea disputes
With this in mind, Padilla asserted: “The Philippines may directly undertake to enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements on petroleum, and other mineral oils and all forces of potential energy.”
“In view of the gains attained from the MOU where the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China cooperated on the terms provided therein on the gas and oil development in the West Philippine Sea, the new administration can further explore these common interests of cooperation to resolve the country’s oil dependency from foreign countries,” he also noted.
Earlier, an alliance of Filipino fisherfolk renewed their call for Marcos to “completely shelve” bilateral talks with China on the West Philippine Sea and instead assert the country’s sovereignty over the disputed waters.
READ: Bongbong Marcos urged: ‘Permanently shelve’ oil exploration talks with China
China has made fresh attempts to undermine the historic ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which favored the Philippines and rejected the Asian giant’s nine-dash line claim over the body of water.
Marcos to assert Hague ruling
International allies key to upholding arbitral ruling on WPS — think tank
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