Basa 'pag may time! Panelo to Carpio: PH won't lose Reed Bank to China based on your ruling

Basa ‘pag may time! Panelo to Carpio: PH won’t lose Reed Bank to China based on your ruling

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Malacañang on Tuesday said Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s concern that China can seize gas from the Reed Bank should the Philippines fail to pay its debt to China under multi-billion peso loan deals is misplaced.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Reed Bank, a sea feature within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, waspublic property and caould not be given away.

“Yung concern or yung apprehension of Justice Carpio (his concern or apprehension) may be — with due respect to him — misplaced on account of the constitutional provision, as well as in lieu of his own ruling,” Panelo said.

Panelo referred to Carpio’s ruling in Chavez vs. Public States Authority and Amari under GR No. 133250 in July 9, 2002.

“It’s Justice Carpio saying na you cannot just convert a public property to a patrimonial property. So hindi mangyayari yun ; apart from we never renege,” he said.

Panelo said an enabling law or a Presidential proclamation was needed to convert a public property to a patrimonial property.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans to issue the Presidential proclamation.

“In the first place the loan agreement has been signed, there’s nothing more to add,” he said.

Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, dismissed as well critics’ concern that arbitration will be one-sided in favor of China.

“They’re forgetting that under the contract, I read the contract, before you go to arbitration, you have to go to the process of negotiation, mag-usap muna kayo, if that fails that’s the time you’ll go to arbitration; and assuming that China wins in the arbitration, it cannot be implemented. Under the contract, under the loan agreement, it has to pass through our courts first. Kailangan may validation ng court natin before that can be enforced,” he explained.

Carpio earlier said China could seize patrimonial assets under the loan deal for the P3.69-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project.

The Chico River pump irrigation project aims to provide a stable supply of water to around 8,700 hectares of agricultural land, benefit 4,350 farmers and their families, and serve 21 barangays in the provinces of Kalinga and Cagayan in Northern Luzon. (PNA)

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