Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - "Sharing" our natural marine resources in the West Philippine Sea (Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ]) with China on the pretext of "joint development" is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and a ground for IMPEACHMENT.

"Sharing" our natural resources in the West Philippine Sea (Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ]) with China on the pretext of "joint development" is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and a ground for IMPEACHMENT. -

Duterte has repeated his desire to surrender and sell our multi-trillion-peso Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights, interests and natural resources to China on the pretext of "sharing" or “joint development” and friendship with China (Duterte’s “new ally”).

This is prohibited by the Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony) of the 1987 Constitution.

If Duterte violates the said Article, he may be IMPEACHED under Article XI (Accountability of Public Officers) of the 1987 Constitution.

Section 2 of Article XII of the 1987 Constitution provides as follows:

(1)             “All xxx waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are OWNED BY THE STATE”.

(2)            “With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources SHALL NOT BE ALIENATED”.

(3)            “The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be UNDER THE FULL CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF THE STATE”.

(4)            “The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements WITH FILIPINO CITIZENS or corporations or associations AT LEAST SIXTY PERCENTUM OF WHOSE CAPITAL IS OWNED BY (FILIPINO) CITIZENS”.

(5)            “Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and UNDER SUCH TERMS AND CONDITION AS MAY BE PROVIDED BY LAW.”
(6)            “The State shall protect the nation's MARINE WEALTH in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE, and reserve its use and enjoyment EXCLUSIVELY to Filipino citizens”.

(7)            “The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by FILIPINO CITIZENS, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons”.

(8)            “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 CONDITION PROVIDED BY LAW, based on REAL CONTRIBUTIONS to the economic growth and GENERAL WELFARE of the country xxx.”

(9)            “The President shall NOTIFY THE CONGRESS of EVERY CONTRACT entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.”

Duterte yesterday again floated the idea of “sharing oil in the West Philippine Sea with China”, despite an international arbitral award recognizing the EEZ rights of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the South China Sea.

His words, as reported by Rappler.Com:

(1)             "I have this arbitral award, so I have to push it. Kung gusto ninyo (If you want), let's just develop what's the oil there, hati-hati nalang tayo (let's divide it up)."

(2)            "Anuhin ko naman iyang dagat kung walang (What can I do with that sea if there is no) – What will I do with the Scarborough Shoal? Swim there everyday? For what? To send my soldiers there to die? Nakalutang lahat? (Everyone floating there?)."

(3)            Duterte said “he would not raise the award  any time soon” (Re: the recent UNCLOS arbitral decision in favor of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone and against the Nine-Dash Ownership Claim of China over almost the whole of the  South China Sea).
(4)            Duterte said “bringing up the award may stoke tensions with China”, which Duterte now regards as “a new friend and ally”.

(5)            "Iyang oil, tayo may arbitral. Gusto nila [US] i-push talaga natin. Bakit naman ako maghanap ng away? (That oil, we have the arbitral award. They want us to push it. Why would I look for a fight?) If I send the Marines there, they’ll be wiped out in just one minute. It will be a disaster."  Note: Duterte’s statement comes after increased “militarization by the Chinese” in the West Philippine Sea. His Foreign Secretary Yasay said “the government can't do anything about.”

(6)            Duterte said he will eventually raise the arbitral award with Chinese leaders but did not say when that time will come. Duterte: "There will be a day, sinabi ko kay (I told) Xi Jinping, that we will have to take this up. But not now because I am here as a visitor... But I will bring this up. Alam na niya, pati ang ambassador dito iyong Chinese (He knows, even the Chinese Ambassador). I will bring this up, someday." He added: "But it will be during my time, that I have this arbitral award, so I have to push it.". Note: Since his 2016 campaign, Duterte has said he was open to the idea of joint development of the West Philippne Sea, especially if China agreed to help finance big infrastructure projects like trains.  

(News Source: Rappler.com).

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