Aquino hits joint exploration with China

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2018 08:07 PM

MANILA- The Philippines has no obligation to share its resources with China, former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said Wednesday.

This, after Foreign Affairs Chief Alan Peter Cayetano said the Duterte administration is working on a framework for possible oil exploration with China where companies can work on a commercial level without damaging the country’s claims.

Cayetano clarified that the framework will not go beyond the Philippine Constitution and follow as a standard the Malampaya 60-40 sharing of revenues for the Philippines, noting that the Chinese “seems amenable” to it. 

"Dito, exclusive economic zone ang pinag uusapan eh, parang wala tayong obligasyon na makihati sa kanila," Aquino told reporters.

(We're talking about our exclusive economic zone, it seems that we don't have an obligation to share with them.)

Aquino also urged Filipinos to be vigilant against bargaining with China.

The former president also reiterated that his administration was transparent in dealing with China, disputing Cayetano’s accusation.

Aquino also dismissed Cayetano's comments on the role of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as a negotiator in talks with Beijing, which led to the withdrawal of Philippine forces in Scarborough shoal. 

He explained that Trillanes became a backchannel negotiator when the senator said he was approached by the Chinese on the possibility of opening backchannel talks when the formal channels have closed. 

Aquino said China had refused to talk directly via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A draft of the proposed joint exploration with China is expected to be finished either in August or September, Cayetano said.