Ping to govt: Let China heed ‘60-40’ in oil deal


SENATOR  Panfilo Lacson has endorsed an  option being considered by the Duterte administration to forge a joint venture deal with China in exploring for oil in the West Philippine Sea, but Lacson asserts  China must first commit  to abide by the Philippine Constitution’s  60-40 split provision.

Lacson, speaking before a forum hosted by big business groups led by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) over the weekend, said this would “show that the Philippines owns and has sovereign rights over the area.”

The senator assured business leaders that “as long as the [Duterte government] adheres to the constitutional provision of 60-40, I am all for it. If it’s 60-40, it shows we ‘own,’ we have sovereign rights over the area.”

Lacson affirmed, “If they would adhere to 60-40, I’m all for it. If not we should go back and review our security situation.”

He reminded business leaders at the forum that under Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, “the State may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.”

Moreover, the senator cited information indicating the West Philippine Sea is rich in natural gas and oil, affirming that this “could help address our energy needs.

Recalling that China has sent geologists to the area as far back as 1968, Lacson asserted that “if China would not agree to the 60-40 rule, the Philippines can turn to its allies, especially those it has bilateral agreements with.”

He added that Australia, Japan and even the European Union “have now shown more willingness to patrol the area as they have interests in making sure the area is open to maritime trade,” and said concerned authorities “should seize the opportunity.”

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