PHL bans all foreign marine survey ships

PHL bans all foreign marine survey ships

In a response to numerous reports of presence of Chinese surveying vessels inside Philippine waters, which have sparked a lot of questions among the government officials and the citizenry, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., said he will ”universalize” the ban on such vessels to include those operated by the Chinese.
“I banned marine survey ships, amending restriction to France & Japan by adding China. To pick & choose invites suspicion of favoritism. Will universalize the ban. Period. Granting exception to one country will automatically lift ban universally,” Locsin tweeted. “Exceptions invite bribes.”

Locsin also tweeted that only China has expressed its intention in a joint oil exploration with the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
A Chinese survey vessel (photo credit to owner)

“Actually no other country is interested. That is the only legally acceptable reason,” Locsin said.

60-40 deal

China was offering a 60-40 sharing agreement in favor of the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Salvador Panelo said that he sees nothing wrong with a joint exploration with China,, since the country will benefit from the potentially huge oil and mineral resources in the West Philippine Sea(WPS).
“I asked the US undersecretary of energy. Small pickings, she said of PH prospects. Otherwise we can’t pick and choose other than the best offer even if American,” Locsin said, without naming the US official.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is expected to discuss a possible joint exploration agreement with China in his 5th visit to China this month. President Duterte said he was open to 60-40 sharing in favor of the Philippines.

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Report from PhilStar

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