PH setting aside Hague ruling in joint exploration with China doesn't mean abandonment of award - Palace
Malacañang said on Thursday that setting aside The Hague ruling in the joint oil and gas exploration with China in the South China Sea did not mean the Philippines is abandoning the award.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government is still talking with Beijing regarding the July 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
"The setting side does not mean that we will abandon it. What the President means is that, as we have repeatedly said and as he said too, the arbitral ruling is stilll subject to talks between the two countries, negotiation is onging peacefully. But meanwhile we focus with other concerns that may mutually benefit the two countries," he said.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has said that the Philippines could enter into a joint development with China within the Philippine exclusive economic zone without setting aside the PCA award.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that during his recent talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the latter agreed for a 60-40 sharing in favor of the Philippines in the joint oil and gas exploration in the disputed waters provided that the arbitral ruling would be set aside.
"The problem with him (Del Rosario) is he talks a lot but as the President says he is behind the loss of Scarborough Shoal," Panelo said.
The Duterte administration has been blaming Del Rosario why China was able to get control of the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc in April 2012 following the standoff between the Philippine and Chinese ships.
Through the mediation of the United States, the Philippines and China agreed to pullout from the area to break the stalemate in 2012. While the Philippine Navy ship withdrew, China did not honor the verbal deal. From then on, Beijing got control of the Bajo de Masinloc. Celerina Monte/DMS