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Palace says planned PH-China joint deal in WPS compliant with Constitution

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang said on Tuesday it is certain that the framework for the planned joint oil and gas exploration by the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) complies with the provisions of the Constitution.

“We assure that any agreement that we will enter into with a foreign government or entity would stand the judicial scrutiny of both countries and its constitutionality, if challenged, would be upheld,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo made the statement after Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV filed Senate Resolution No. 943, asking President Rodrigo Duterte to release the definitive draft of the join PH-China gas and oil exploration agreeement with China before signing it.

Pangilinan and Trillanes also directed the Senate Committee on Energy to investigate said joint exploration deal in the disputed waters.

According to Duterte’s mouthpiece, any demand for a release of the draft agreement is “premature and could be prejudicial to our country’s interests given that parties have yet to ink any agreement on the matter.”

Panelo meanwhile said they respect the Senate’s plan to investigate the country’s joint oil exploration deal with China.

“We likewise expect respect from them by allowing us to do our job as we perform activities which are rightful within the scope of executive faculty,” he said.