As I observe the reverberations from the Supreme Court’s controversial and suspiciously timed decision and announcement on the 2005 Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) case declaring the exploration joint venture unconstitutional, I thought of the dreams of economic development of our nation, how it would be sabotaged by this twisted decision if not corrected.
The Reed Bank or Recto Bank joint oil-gas exploration and exploitation deal between China and the Philippines puts the latter as beneficiary of 60% of the proceeds from the oil and gas resources of the disputed area that is proven by the US Geological Survey to be five times bigger that Saudi Arabia. Imagine all the development dreams the Philippines can attain with that much resources.
With such tremendous resources, guaranteed peace in the region due to cooperation with China and assured energy independence, Filipinos can really enjoy the sovereignty it longed for even hundreds of years before the 1896 Revolution which suffered an ill-fated end at the hands of imperialist America. Is the Supreme Court causing the same repetition of history by this abortion of the joint oil-gas deal ?
False patriotism is behind the campaign to stop cooperation of the Philippines with China. Vietnam had bloody skirmishes with China but finally accepted the win-win formula of China – cooperation and joint exploration and development, such as its joint exploration with China in the Beibu Gulf, and PetroVietnam and CNOOC (China’s State oil company) SCS joint venture. So do Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei.
The suspicions over the timing of the announcement is reinforced by the quick publication of the Manny Pangilinan owned Business World to editorialize that the government of President Bongbong Marcos should now be tied to this decision, as its editorial said “It is incumbent upon the president and his team to abide by the framework set by this decision.”
A serious review of the decision would reveal outright the flaw of the decision as the argued by Atty. Harry Roque who cites the precedent La Bugal ruling which provides that the President could enter into agreements with foreign entities for large-scale explorations. This is based on Article XII, Section 2, Paragraph 4 which states:
“The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving
either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and
utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms
and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and
general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the
development and use of local scientific and technical resources.”
We should link this to our preamble which states:
“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a
just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and
aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and
secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy
under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace,
do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”
Put the two together then it is imperative for the President to engage in joint ventures with even foreign-owned entities when it is the optimum way to achieve what the preamble says, to “, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy…” Without the joint venture the Philippines will certainly not be able to develop the resources of that Reed Bank area – learn from Vietnam.
The Salim group think they own the Republic of the Philippines the way they own the Yellows, Business World, TV 5, the Inquirer, Meralco, Manila Water, what else does the Salim group own? Ahhh,, of course, the souls of Manny Pangilinan, former DFA secretary Albert del Rosario, Justice Antonio Carpio, Rappler, Maria Ressa, and a host of others from the senate and congress, the financial authorities, the academie ad nausea.
Meanwhile, Uncle Sam backs the Salim group praying that talks will fail and it can start the “proxy war” ala Ukraine, fight China to the last Filipino.
BTW, it is important to remind everybody who filed the motion to declare that JMSU unconstitutional – its Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño and lawyered by Neri Colmenares, all dedicated saboteurs of Philippine economic progress and strange bedfellows of the Yellows and the U.S. in this mission to keep the Philippines underdeveloped so they can continue to wreak havoc and destabilize for their own eventual takeover of the country. Pres. Duterte reminded the nation on March 9, 2022 for the Philippines to honor its commitment to the oil-gas joint exploration deal, which a month later Locsin “terminates”. Salim’s minions and Amboys succeeded in the sabotage. They are at it again, but we may see a real president now assert political will and fulfill the constitutional mandate to make our nation rich?