^

Headlines

House probe on Chinese exploration in Panatag pushed

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House probe on Chinese exploration in Panatag pushed
Members of the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution No. 1971 that seeks to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation by the committee on natural resources on reports of possible Chinese exploration within Philippine territory.
Garreth Tungol / Office of ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo

MANILA, Philippines — Militant lawmakers in the House of Representatives yesterday pushed for a congressional investigation into the alleged oil exploration activities of China in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Members of the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution No. 1971 that seeks to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation by the committee on natural resources on reports of possible Chinese exploration within Philippine territory.

The group led by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate cited reports saying Filipino fishermen in Infanta, Pangasinan had discovered a device with Chinese markings, later identified as an ocean bottom seismometer or OBS by non-government organization Peoples Development Institute (PDI), in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

“The presence of the said OBS that may point to a possible Chinese oil exploration activity and other illegal foreign activities in the Philippine territory does not only disrespect the Philippine sovereignty but are also detrimental to Philippine interest, security and development,” the resolution stated.

Maritime law experts said the OBS is being used for detecting earthquakes and oil exploration. The device has been turned over to the Philippine Navy’s intelligence group for evaluation, reports said.

Malacañang already ruled out the possibility of China deploying an oil exploration device in Panatag Shoal.

The Makabayan bloc argued that the government should take measures to effectively uphold Philippine sovereignty.

Wanted: patriotic president

Retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio yesterday said he hopes the country’s next president will defend the West Philippine Sea against Chinese encroachment.

“We have to make sure that our next president is patriotic, will defend the West Philippine Sea against Chinese encroachment, honest, will have a vision for our country five, 10, 15 years from now, who will be competent and who will not just sleep in Malacañang,” Carpio said at the 1Sambayan-organized online forum titled, “Last SONA Fact-Check: KaSINUNGALINGan vs Katotohanan.”

Carpio is one of the convenors of 1Sambayan.

The former magistrate also criticized Duterte for continuously allowing China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea.

“It’s really very sad that in his last SONA (State of the Nation Address) President Duterte continues to defend China’s encroachment on the West Philippine Sea. He continues to mouth the propaganda line of China against Philippine national interest,” Carpio said.

“It’s very easy for him to say ‘I prohibit Chinese fishermen from fishing in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone) in the West Philippine Sea,’ but he doesn’t even want to say it,” he said.

Carpio said Filipino fishermen continue to suffer because of China’s presence in the country’s EEZ.

Last chance to bring ruling to UN assembly

Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario meanwhile urged yesterday the Filipino people not to “stand idly” after Duterte “sold out” the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to China.

According to del Rosario, Duterte has one last chance to bring the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling favoring the Philippines’ victory on the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations General Assembly to enforce the award. – Helen Flores, Pia Lee-Brago, Michael Punongbayan

CHINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with