Philippines not entering into sovereign deal in exploring disputed waters, says Roque
The Philippines is not going to enter into a government-to-government exploration in the disputed South China Sea, Malacanang said on Thursday.
In an interview by television network ANC, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said any exploration in the disputed waters would be between Philippine and Chinese corporate entities.
"We’re not entering into a sovereign agreement for exploration. It will be an agreement if we do between two corporate entities one of which is a state company," he said.
He said the Department of Energy is the one handling the supposed joint exploration with the Chinese state company in the South China Sea.
It could be recalled that during the Aquino administration, Manuel V. Pangilinan's Forum Energy Plc., which the DOE granted the Service Contract 72 in Recto Bank in the South China Sea, suspended its exploration in the area due to the territorial dispute with China.
It was supposed to partner with state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he is open to a joint exploration with China in the disputed waters. Celerina Monte/DMS