By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
August 1, 2018
The Filipino people and all national and democratic forces should be alert to the China-Philippine exploration deal announced by DFA secretary Cayetano and should demand that the terms of the deal be made known immediately to the public.
What is exactly the 60 per cent for the Philippines and 40 per cent for China? Do these percentages pertain to ownership, costs of exploration and development and/or production sharing with the Chinese oil exploration and development company deciding what is true or fictional values of production?
But there are more important prejudicial questions to be answered about Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights over the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf (ECS) in the West Philippine Sea and about the legal victory of the Philippines before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
We need to get clear answers to such questions in view of the traitorous and cowardly policy of the Duterte regime regarding the West Philippine Sea and the previous bad experience of the Philippines in engaging with China in joint seismic undertaking or exploration during the Arroyo regime. We should recall that China never shared fully with the Philippines the essential findings and technical data from such exploration. Then it became more aggressive in claiming the West Philippine Sea and building artificial islands.
The reason why China became interested in building artificial islands as military bases in the Spratlys is not because the Aquino regime filed the Philippine case before the ITLOS in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea but because the Arroyo regime made the stupid and grave error of entering into a joint agreement on seismic undertaking with China to explore the oil and gas resources under the West Philippine Sea.
When the Chinese discovered that the oil and gas resources were abundant, they did not share the essential findings and all technical data with the Philippines and became more determined to lay claim over the entire West Philippine Sea and build more artificial islands. Vietnam backed out of the joint seismic undertaking when it noticed that China would monopolize the results of the exploration.
The next big mistake is about to be made by the Duterte regime and will be the most outrageous one. To suit the traitorous and corrupt cabal of Duterte, Arroyo and Enrique Razon who holds 75 per cent of the concession area around Reed Bank, the Philippines is once more entering into a joint agreement on seismic undertaking with China, without the assertion or premise of Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights and without reference to the legal victory of the Philippines before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12, 2016.
Especially under the prodding of House Speaker Arroyo and the tycoon Razon, the Duterte regime is more than ever determined to sell out Philippine sovereignty and the trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas resources under the West Philippine Sea in exchange for a few billions worth of Chinese loans for building overpriced infrastructure projects at high interest rates.
Panting like dogs after finder´s fees and commissions, Duterte and his fellow corrupt officials play stupid and keep on saying that the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine EEZ and ECS are still under dispute by the baseless Chinese claims and that the conclusive and final judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration amounts to nothing or is an empty victory.
Duterte and his fellow corrupt officials are so brave and merciless against the Filipino people but behave so cowardly before China by repeating ad nauseam that the the only choice that the Philippines has is to go to war against China or submit to the baseless Chinese claim of sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.
If they were not so stupid and cowardly, they can make telling and far-reaching diplomatic protests and can file several court cases under international law to demand respect for the already won legal victory of the Philippines and for compensation for the damages to the marine environment features that belong to the Philippines. ###