DFA to set parameters for future oil, gas exploration talks
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is currently crafting parameters for future oil and gas exploration negotiations.
The move came after the Supreme Court declared void and unconstitutional a 2005 agreement that allowed China and Vietnam to conduct oil exploration with the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs is carefully studying the recently issued Supreme Court decision on the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking,” the agency’s spokesperson Teresita Daza told reporters in a message on Thursday.
“It is, however, premature to discuss the case’s legal implications on any future agreement with China, as substantive discussions have yet to commence. We are still in the process of setting the parameters that will guide any future oil and gas talks,” she added.
The DFA noted that its actions and policy recommendations are always anchored on the country’s Constitution and laws.
“Cases decided by the Supreme Court form part of our legal system, and the Department is duty-bound to take applicable cases into consideration in any future discussion with China on oil and gas,” Daza said.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to resume joint oil and gas exploration talks in the West Philippine Sea following the former’s visit to Beijing.
The Philippines has sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea following the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration to invalidate China’s nine-dash line claim in the maritime area.