— Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said the Philippines has sovereign rights to explore and utilize the natural resources found in the Philippine Rise region.
“Sovereign right is different from title. Sovereign right is the exclusive right to explore and exploit the natural and non-living resources, natural resources found in the area,” Roque clarified in a Malacañang press briefing.
“Kasama po sa exclusive na karapatan ng sovereign rights ay ‘yung desisyon, iyong sovereign decision na payagan iyong ibang mga bansa na mag-conduct ng scientific studies,” he said.
In line with this, the president’s spokesperson mentioned two conditions that the government has imposed — that Filipino scientists will participate and that the result of the scientific research will be shared with the Filipinos.
As for the Scarborough Shoal issue, Roque said it was covered by the obligation of good faith between China and the Philippines that the former would not reclaim nor create artificial islands.
He added that the two countries are both interested in maintaining their current good relations.
“Ang interest po ng Filipino ngayon ng Pilipinas ay yung karapatan ng ating mga mangingisda na magpatuloy sa kanilang hanap-buhay na pangingisda dyan sa borough ay iyan naman po’y nangyayari ngayon,” Roque said. (PCO Content)