Locsin: PH abandons oil exploration talks with China

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MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday revealed that the Philippines was the one that initiated the termination of oil exploration talks with China.

Both sides tried to negotiate for three years and got as far as constitutionally possible, Locsin said in his speech during the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) Foundation Day.

Another step forward, however, would have risked a “constitutional crisis”.

“That explains the sudden pull-back on my part which unraveled three years of sincere hard work on the part of Wang Yi and me. We had both tried to go as far as we could — without renouncing China’s aspiration on his part; and constitutional limitations on my part. I shut down shop completely,” he said.

“The president had spoken. I carried out his instructions to the letter: oil and gas discussions are terminated completely. Nothing is pending; everything is over,” he added.

Throughout the three years of negotiations, he noted that the Philippines never gave up even a shred of its sovereignty.

The top diplomat stated that it is now the responsibility of the incoming administration to safeguard Philippine sovereignty “all the way to the wire”.

“The irreducible template of what is constitutionally possible is there in black and white. Surrender of any portion of Philippine sovereignty is not an option,” he said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.