Robin Padilla wants to restart terminated oil exploration talks with China

·Contributor
·2 min read
Senator Robin Padilla delivers a speech during the celebration of 'Eid al Adha'
Actor-turned-senator Robin Padilla calls for peace during the celebration of 'Eid al Adha', the Islamic "Holiday of the Sacrifice", in Quezon City, Philippines July 9, 2022. (Photo: Robin Padilla/Facebook)

Senator Robin Padilla on Thursday (July 21) filed a resolution urging the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to go back to the negotiating table and restart joint oil and gas development talks with China.

“The Philippines requires a long-term strategy to resolve its oil dependency from foreign sources as the country is vulnerable to the negative effect of the skyrocketing oil prices dictated by the world market’s reaction to the Russia Ukraine conflict,” Senate Resolution No. 6 read.

Although largely symbolic in nature and cannot legally compel the executive branch to do anything, the resolution said that “[t]he new administration has the opportunity to resume the bilateral talks with [China] for purposes of cooperation in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on gas and oil development without bargaining the sovereign rights of the Philippines on the disputed islands.”

The former actor-turned Senator said that restarting the terminated talks has presented “no derogation of the Philippines’ assertion of its sovereign rights in the WPS.”

On June 23, former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced that upon the instructions of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the negotiations for a planned joint oil exploration between the two countries have been permanently terminated.

However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signaled Beijing’s willingness to resume the terminated talks under the new Marcos administration, calling it a chance to enter a “new golden era.”

“The President, as the primary architect of our foreign policy and as the head of the state, is allowed by the Constitution to make preliminary determinations on what, at any given moment, might urgently be required in order that our foreign policy may manifest our natural interest,” Padilla further pointed out.

Subsequently, Padilla also filed Senate Bill 229, aiming to suspend excise taxes on unleaded premium gas, regular gas, and diesel to help unburden motorists of the rising prices of goods in the market.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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