Butuan City – Anakpawis Party-list Representative dared the Duterte administration on its belligerent posturing on the issue of the West Philippine Sea, to decisively revoke or cancel the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on developing oil and gas resources in the disputed sea. It was signed last year during the state visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping.
“We challenge the Duterte government to substantiate its verbal assertion with deeds to cancel the deal as China continues to occupy the Spratly islands,” the lawmaker dared.
China asserted its claim on the said islands after the government invoked the ruling of the Hague or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). The ruling demolished Chinese claim based on its “nine-dash line” territorial delineation.
Revoking the MOU would also preserve national patrimony, as Reed Bank, near the Spratly islands are estimated to store 18 to 20 million cubic feet of natural gas, or 7 to 9 times larger that of the Malampaya.
“We demand protection of national patrimony, that should benefit the Filipino people, not the imperialist interests of China,” the lawmaker called.
He earlier branded China as an imperialist power during a protest marking the Day of Valor in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City.
“China is clearly on imperialist aggression, consolidating its hold on the West Philippine Sea by deploying military might and installing missile facilities, for its geo-political interests against US positioning in the Asia-Pacific, and to plunder resources for use of its economic powerhouse, at the cost of infringing on Philippine national sovereignty and Filipinos’ right to self-determination,” he elaborated.
He vowed that Filipinos will unite against this imperialist aggression, as what has been carried out in the past against Japanese fascism and American colonialism. ###