Joint exploration in West PH Sea open to all — Malacañang
The Philippines is open to a joint exploration in the disputed West Philippine Sea not only with China but also with other countries.
“We are open to broader options for partnerships,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are not limiting ourselves to exclusive economic relationships,” Abella added.
The Palace official reiterated the President Rodrigo Duterte’s position, saying he was open to joint exploration of resources in the disputed sea.
“The President is open to possible cooperation with foreign entities in exploring and extracting mineral and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.
Abella, however, said that any exploration must not violate the Constitution.
“Any venture, however, must be compliant with the Philippine Constitution and local laws, and have terms which protect the national interest and are beneficial to the Filipino people,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano vowed that any joint exploration deal over the South China Sea would be compliant with the Constitution.
Duterte said in a press conference after his second State of the Nation Address that there were already talks for a possible joint exploration with China in the disputed sea but refused to disclose details.
The Philippines and China have been locked in a longstanding maritime dispute over the South China Sea.
The Philippines has won its diplomatic protest over China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea at the United Nations arbitral tribunal but Beijing has repeatedly refused to recognize the ruling. CBB
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