ON THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON COOPERATION ON OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
November 24, 2018

It is absolutely clear from the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that the GRP keeps silent, ignores and sets aside the conclusive and final legal victory of the Philippines in its case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In principle and in practical terms, the Memorandum at least puts China at par with the Philippines, despite the fact that the Philippines has indisputably, according to international law and final court judgment, the sovereign rights and sole ownership of and authority over the oil, gas and other resources in any possible “relevant area” or “working area” in the West Philippine Sea.

The signing and approval of the Memorandum under the direction of Duterte is a clear act of treason, a blatant betrayal of the sovereign rights and national patrimony of the Philippines and the Filipino people. While it is still arguable that the Memorandum is still merely an “agreement to agree”, the Philippines and the Filipino people must effectively reject the Memorandum.

Even then, a significant amount of damage has been done by the Duterte regime to the sovereign rights and national patrimony of the Filipino people. By citing the Memorandum, China can now insist ad nauseam and by force that the Philippine government has waste-basketed the final judgment that the mineral and marine resources under the West Philippine Sea belong to the Philippines.

To overcome the damage and counter the act of treason, the Philippines and the Filipino people must act immediately to nullify and waste basket the Memorandum. Otherwise the traitor Duterte and his subalterns will commit more crimes of treason under the rule of confidentiality agreed upon in the Memorandum. This is a confidentiality serving the traitors and thieves at the expense of the Filipino people who are kept in the dark and subjected to surprises by fait accompli.

The practical counteraction to the treason committed by Duterte and the threat of aggression by China is for the Philippines to promptly muster its own patriotic Filipino experts and to hire the needed foreign oil and gas development company, that accepts Philippine sovereign rights and ownership over the resources, is superior to China in undersea oil and gas exploration and development, carries the protection of its own country and the international community of nations and is independent of the US and China.

If the Memorandum is allowed to stay and elaborated further by the Duterte-lining crooks in collaboration with China and its Chinese corporations, it will become intertwined with legal and political provisions in contracts that require economic and trade and loan agreements to be governed by and construed in accordance with Chinese laws and any dispute with the Philippines on the terms of contracts to be settled through arbitration by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. These provisions overrule any Philippine silence or equivocation about Philippine sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

In a previous statement, I pointed out the following: By allowing China to be a partner and co-owner of joint undertakings to explore and exploit the energy resources in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippines is made to fall silent on and give up its sovereign rights and allow Chinese corporations to explore and exploit oil, gas and other resources, with Chinese corporations monopolizing the findings of explorations and the accounting of costs and outcomes in exploration and exploitation.

While the Duterte-lining crooks are selfishly interested in paltry contract shares and finders’ fees, China has foresight and depth in its scheme to turn the Philippines into a debt colony and to usurp not only the mineral and marine resources in the West Philippine Sea but also elsewhere in the Philippines. The unrepayable high interest loans and overpriced infrastructure projects will weigh heavily on the Filipino people and will allow China to control and take over the natural resources and economy and even the political life of the Philippines.###