President Rodrigo Duterte sees no harm in signing a joint exploration agreement with China despite warning critics that it will have serious consequences on the country's claims in the Western Philippine Sea.
Speaking on Palenque on Saturday (November 10th), Duterte said the joint oil exploration agreement was a way to resolve the Philippines and China's contradictory claims in the disputed waters.
"The Arbitration Court, this is a body under the UN, nanalo kami." Tapos sabi niya, "We will move with caution. Dahan-dahan lang, "he said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"And so now meron na tayong – maybe we will also try another exploration activity." Exploring lang naman eh The word is to explore, that is to say, to learn, "added Duterte.
If the presence of oil in the Western Philippine Sea is confirmed, Duterte said it would insist on the Philippines having a larger share of profits because the country needs bad money.
There is a saying that Duterte and Xi will sign a joint oil exploration agreement in the Western Philippine Sea when the President of China will visit the country later this month.
Critics have warned that the deal might invalidate the court's favorable judgment on Manila's maritime claims.
China has refused to recognize the decision of the International Arbitration Tribunal, which cancels its sweeping claims to the South China Sea, including the Western Philippine Sea.