PH warned on Chinese debt trap

Legazpi City (April 17, 2017) – A former security official warned the Philippine government of Chinese intentions regarding its latest aid package to the country.

Golez

Speaking in a television interview over ANC, former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez cautioned government policy-makers of what he called the “Chinese debt trap.”

Golez explained that the People’s Republic of China has now implemented a “charm offensive” to various neighbours not only in Southeast Asia but also in the Indian Ocean.

He reminds the administration that China remains a claimant of territories in the West Philippine Sea some of which are part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

The former legislator remarked that China have already implemented such foreign policy to countries some of which have fallen to its set-up.

Golez cited some economic woes of Sri Lanka which he believes are results of their mishandling of Chinese loans granted to them.

He evaluates that the Sri Lankan government may now be beholden to Chinese influence because of the former’s failure to properly implement the payment of the loans.

The former naval officer offered a solution for the Philippines citing the advances of Vietnam.

Golez expounded that Vietnam despite its recovery from war, was able to thwart any influential attempts by China.

He said that Vietnam balanced its economic and defense programs making it a force in the region China should contend with.

With this, Golez, who is also a university professor, suggested that the Philippines may adopt the Vietnam strategy if it were to remain firm in protecting its territory and its interests. (J. Garalde)

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Solon advises gov’t on Chinese joint exploration

Legazpi City (Jan. 5, 2017) – KABAYAN Rep. Harry Roque, reminded the Duterte administration about proper procedure regarding the planned joint exploration between the Philippines and China.

duterte-in-china

While it is the prerogative of any sovereign nation to enter into such agreements, Roque explained that the government should make sure that such undertakings must be favourable to the country.

Roque who is also an expert on international law pointed out three factors to attain a positive outcome for the Philippines.

First, according to the congressman, is to see to it that such treaty is legal or should be within the bounds of the law particularly the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The next is that, the president himself should sign the agreement.

He clarified that as president, it is assumed he has all the legal minds at his disposal to scrutinize the provisions of the accord.

This means that the pact was or should have been studied thoroughly by these lawyers before it is signed.

The third and most important, said Roque, is that it should be reviewed by or reported to congress.

With this, legislators would be able to give additional inputs to safeguard the interests of the country in the contract.

Meanwhile, Roque cautioned that if and when the deal is initiated, the Philippines should see to it that the area of joint explorations should only be within the confines of the disputed territorial waters.

The government, he advised, should never allow China access to areas that are unquestionably within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

This was the party-list representative’s reaction to public apprehension that the Philippines may unknowingly giving up part of its sovereign territory through a joint exploration deal with China.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs sees nothing wrong with the plan.

Also citing constitutional and legal parameters, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose admitted that the country needs assistance from other entities to embark on such projects. (J. Garalde)