MANILA, Philippines - The Palace on Thursday said there is no problem if businessman Manny Pangilinan proceeds with inviting a Chinese firm for an oil and gas exploration project in Reed Bank as long as they abide by Philippine laws and authorities.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda pointed out that the service contract was awarded to Pangilinan by the Philippine government.
“Ang sabi ni Pangulong Aquino, walang problema sa Pilipinas ‘yon as long as nire-recognize ang Philippine sovereignty. Kasi unang-una, ’yung service contract na ‘yan ang nag-award po sa kanya ang Filipino—ang Pilipinas," he said.
"Ang Philippine government po ang nagbigay nung service contract 72. Without that service contract awarded to him, he will not be there exploring the Recto Bank," he added.
"But after that he has been awarded, the President has mentioned that we have no problem, you can explore it in the way that you deem proper provided the recognition of Philippine sovereignty is there. And which is automatic,” Lacierda told reporters.
Lacierda said that Reed Bank is supposed to have “thrice as large” as the oil deposits of Malampaya.