(From a Facebook post by Atty. Manuel Laserna, Jr.)


The Philippines and China are now openly (and brazenly) discussing the terms and conditions of the total surrender to China of the Philippines’ UNCLOS-affirmed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the rich multi-trillion-peso resources in the West Philippine Sea.

The business tool or disguise being used by the leaders of the Philippines and China is the unconstitutional and much-abused concept of “joint development.”

Article XII, National Patrimony, of the 1987 Constitution expressly prohibits “joint ventures” between the Philippines and another state where both states act as “independent state-partners” and “state co-owners” of exclusive Philippine natural resources.

Article XII allows the execution only of “technical and financial service agreements.”

Under this constitutional scheme, the Philippines, as the “absolute state-owner” of its own natural resources (“regalian doctrine” in Political Law), enters into special “technical and financial agreements” with “private investors” (not “states”) to develop its natural resources.

The private investors are paid in terms of “royalties” or the like.

They are not deemed to be “co-owners” of the Philippine natural resources.

We have to monitor this grave issue closely because Philippines national interest is at stake here.

Duterte is willing to act like a slave to China to appease his new communist masters and benefactors in Beijing at the expense of future Filipino generations.

The track record of China in dealing with foreign states, politicians and business leaders is replete with reported incidents of massive corruption and exploitation.

(The case of Venezuela is a classic example. Its late leader, Hugo Chavez, also befriended China and received seemingly kind favors like what President Duterte is doing now. Venezuela is now in turmoil and steep economic decline. It is hard up paying the loans for gas transactions entered into by the deceased Venezuelan communist leader with China some years back.)

Engaging in corruption-tainted deals is the best and the fastest way of transacting business with autocrats and their loyalists in the government and their fanatics in the private sector.

China knows this.

Why?

Because it is one of the most corrupt states in the world.

Many of its state-owned enterprises and subsidized business corporations have been blacklisted by the World Bank for corruption and other unfair dealings.