Fishers group says baselines law will revive Spratly offshore mining deal with China

Fishers group says baselines law will revive Spratly offshore mining deal with China

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s signing of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law or Republic Act No. 9522 will lead to the revival of the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU), an offshore mining deal between the Philippines and China despite the latter’s against the controversial baselines bill.

In a press statement, the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said RA 9522 will legalize the equally controversial offshore mining agreement between China and the Philippines.

“Mrs. Arroyo and her company of hooligans in and out of Malacañang removed the Kalayaan group of islands from the Philippine territory to facilitate the revival and provide the full blanket authority to JMSU that would allow China to proceed with its biggest offshore mining escapade in Palawan and South China Sea,” the group said.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the Philippines baselines law which excluded Kalayaan group of islands from our territorial rights and jurisdiction is tantamount to treason to the highest order.

According to Hicap with the signing of baselines law, the Manila government will soon start renegotiating the stalled offshore mining project with China..

The Pamalakaya leader said the China National Offshore Oil Corporation will eventually set up gas pipelines from Palawan and the “regime of islands” to mainland China once the potential reserves of 3.3 trillion cubic meters of gas are confirmed in the ongoing gas exploration. This is the immediate consequence of this baselines bill,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Pamalakaya said with the baselines law now in effect to be followed with the revival of the RP-China offshore mining deal in Spratly, the setting up of gas pipelines from Palawan to China will be the next big thing to happen since the transfer of gas can only be done through the construction of gas pipelines like in the case of the Malampaya gas pipeline project.

“That’s the next logical chapter of this highly detestable baselines law is China’s setting up of oil exploration empire in South China Sea and the Spratlys where pipelines will be constructed to complete the oil hunt and oil loot, and the Malacañang will just beg for alms in the form of taxes and other duties,” the group added.

Pamalakaya said his group’s fearless forecast in the next three years is that China will establish gas pipelines that would supply the energy sector of China, Malaysia and Singapore and that it would merely engaged in lease contract with the Philippine government for the use of 142,886 square kilometers encompassing Palawan and certain parts of the Spratly Islands being claimed by the Philippines over the last four decades.

Pamalakaya recalled last year the Chinese oil exploration vessel Nan Hai docked at Puerto Princesa City port to refuel after coming from a seismic operation in Southwest Palawan.

“Nam Hai 502 was in Palawan last year not only to conduct seismic operations because it is already confirmed that trillions of cubic meters of natural gas are found in the waters of Palawan and the Kalayaan group of Islands. The best kept secret there is that the Chinese oil explorers are seemingly engaged in mapping operations regarding the setting up of gas pipelines,” the group said.

The Pamalakaya added: “We were not born yesterday not to understand this geographical escapade of Chinese oil explorers. Once they explore, all aspects are considered from identification of gas deposits to how these deposits would be taken off and transferred to the home base of the oil exploration giant and their big-time clients in neighbor countries.” #

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Filed under environment, foreign relations, Offshore mining

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