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Solon asks Congress to vigilant on WPS exploration

HOUSE Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Tuesday said the resumption of exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) “should not further result in the derogation of our national patrimony and our sovereignty or sovereign rights.”

“Congress should be very vigilant also on this issue so that the finite resources in those area will not be subjected to onerous and disadvantageous contract, just like what happened in the Malampaya exploration,” Zarate said, noting that in terms of revenue generation, the “country is clearly shortchanged in the sharing agreement.”

“Also, we should be very wary that this exploration activities will not be used as a subterfuge in the expansionist plans of countries like China that already occupied and militarized Bajo de Masinloc, among others,” said Zarate.

“We may be asserting our sovereign right and the arbitral ruling on this issue but the Philippines should not enter into any other lopsided cobtract or joint maritime ventures like the Joint Martime Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) that China used to map out our resources in the WPS,” said the Davao-based solon.

“Sana ang magpapatupad ng mga explorations na ito ay mga tunay na makabayan at di magkikipagkuntyabahan at magpapalinlang sa Tsina, Amerika o iba pang bansa,” Zarate said.