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MVP confirms talking to DFA chief

Posted at | Updated as of 09/20/12 7:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan confirmed on Wednesday that he was approached by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to ask Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to tone down his stance on the Philippines' territorial dispute with China.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile earlier said former Ambassador to Beijing Sonia Brady's notes reveal that Trillanes asked the business magnate to ask del Rosario, who has served as board director in Pangilinan's companies, to quiet down on China.

In a phone interview, Pangilinan said Trillanes did go to him to ask Del Rosario to soften his stance, but that he did so because Trillanes is a senior government official.

"I never said anything to Albert. I never tell him what to do. Senator Trillanes came to see me. He asked me to talk to Secretary Del Rosario to tone down his tough stance. I told him I will be a messenger. I don't want to be accused of using my influence," he said.

"I've never told Albert (Del Rosario) how to do his job, but if a senior politician comes to me, I delivered the message without coloring," he added.

Aside from heading some companies where del Rosario has served as director, Pangilinan heads Forum Energy, which has the controlling stake in an oil and gas service contract in Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

"There are contacts (with the Chinese) with respect to Service Contract 72.  We are on wait-and-see mode. There's been no progress or negative developments," he said.

Pangilinan said he has spoken to China's state oil company about a joint venture, but any agreement would have to comply with Philippine laws and President Benigno Aquino's position. - report from Coco Alcuaz, ANC