Carpio welcomes joint exploration in West Philippine Sea, asserts PH laws must be followed

Carpio welcomes joint exploration in West Philippine Sea, asserts PH laws must be followed

Retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio welcomed the Duterte government’s recent decision to resume oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea – under the condition that Philippine laws will be followed to ensure the protection of the country’s rights in the vital waterway.

Carpio, a staunch defender of the West Philippine Sea, said joint exploration can be possible with the foreign companies, including Chinese entities, only through the service contract system of the Philippine government.

The Philippines “must remain firm on this,” he stressed, since “this preserves the sovereign rights of the Philippines in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the WPS as the Service Contract is governed by Philippine law.”

“This is the only way that the Philippines, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia, can justify to their people that their governments are not ceding their sovereign rights to China,” Carpio said in his column on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday, October 22