“Nothing favorable can come out from Duterte’s shady “joint exploration” deals with China” – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – Amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that he would discuss a “60-40 sharing favoring the Philippines” on a “joint exploration” with China, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) raised its opposition and straightaway slammed it as “sell-out” and nothing favorable for the country could come out from his shady negotiations with the Asian imperialist power. The Duterte administration has only publicized a lowly Memorandum of Understanding on oil and gas exploration in November 2018.
“Nothing favorable could come out from this shady and non-transparent deal of Duterte with China. He is dealing for himself and his cronies, not for the Filipino people,” PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas National Chairperson and former Anakpawis lawmaker Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a press statement.
He said that aside from this is a flagrant contempt of national sovereignty and plunder of national patrimony, this would lead to more “Chinese ramming of Filipino fishing boats,” akin to the distress of fishermen of F/B Gem-ver 1 in Recto Bank last June 9, 2019.
“60-40 is also misleading, when China is geared to rake profit on the operations itself, utilizing their technology, experts and laborers,” the fishefolk leader slated and claimed that it runs counter to the provision of the constitution on national patrimony stating that “the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources” and “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”
Thus, he said that only a final and published executive agreement, not a non-binding MOU could serve as framework for Duterte’s blabber.
“This is almost similar to the verbal agreement on entry of Chinese fishing vessels in our territory. The deal should be publicized and formalized, to open it up for people’s scrutiny. The very rationale is already antonymous to the constitution, as it is posited that China will have the technical jurisdiction and obviously will plunder the resources for its energy-hungry economy,” Hicap elaborated.
He added that the joint exploration deal with China is wrong on so many legal, moral, and political aspects. It abandons the 2016 ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that recognized the Philippines as the sole claimant of the West Philippine Sea. Moreover, the imperialist superpower is only forging the joint deal as a precursor to total takeover of our marine territory and resources.
“Legally allowing China to exploit our resources is synonymous to violation our right to self-determination, and right to utilize national patrimony for national development. We don’t need China or any foreign country to explore and use our own natural resources. We have overwhelming intellectual human resource for this industry and the only stumbling block was that past and present regimes chose to de-industrialize our country, instead of what other countries in Southeast Asia have pursued, enabling them to protect their respective territories,” ended Hicap. ###