MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said it is in the process of setting the parameters which would guide future negotiations on oil and gas.
In a message to reporters, the DFA disclosed that it is carefully studying the Supreme Court decision on the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking.
Earlier, the Supreme Court declared a 2005 agreement which allowed China and Vietnam to perform a joint exploration with the Philippines for oil resources in areas under the country’s jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea as void and unconstitutional.
“The Department’s actions and policy recommendations are, at all times, anchored on the Philippine Constitution and laws,” DFA Spokesperson Teresita Daza said.
“Cases decided by the Supreme Court form part of the legal system, and the Department is duty-bound to take applicable cases into consideration in any future discussion with China on oil and gas,” she added.
Daza noted that it was premature to discuss the case’s legal implications on any future agreement with China because substantive discussions have yet to commence.
During President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent visit to Beijing, he has agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping to resume joint oil and gas discussions in the West Philippine Sea at an early date “with a view to benefiting the two countries and their peoples”.
In a joint statement, both countries agreed to “bear in mind the spirit” of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines which was signed in 2018. (PNA)