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Expert insists China must recognize PH sovereignty before exploration

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By Roy Mabasa

It is constitutional, not ideological.

This is the issue that should first be resolved before any joint exploration in the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea could take place, political analyst Richard Heydarian said in a television interview Monday.

Richard Javad Heydarian

Richard Javad Heydarian

According to Heydarian, China must first acknowledge the Philippines’ sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea before any joint exploration could take place.

“If the other party does not recognize the sovereignty of the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea whether it is Chinese government or Chinese oil companies or energy companies, then it is against our Constitution,” he said. “The issue is not ideological ,but constitutional.”

Likewise, Heydarian said if a joint exploration will be carried out within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines then it will also violate the 2016 arbitration award ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano earlier declared that those who are opposing the joint exploration between China and the Philippines on Reed Bank are “ideological” and “closed-minded” people.

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