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WEST PHL SEA DISPUTE

Carpio warns: PHL can lose 130 billion oil barrels, territory thrice QC’s size


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The Philippines will not only be losing 130 billion barrels of oil to China, but also territories three times the size of Quezon City if the Philippine government gives up its territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

This was the warning made by Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio on Friday, as he insisted that China is after the abundant oil, gas, and fisheries found in the South China Sea, a part of which the Philippines insists having territorial claim over and calls it the West Philippine Sea.

According to a report by Maki Pulido on 24 Oras, Carpio cited studies that showed that an estimated 130 billion barrels of oil could be extracted from beneath the South China Sea.

This amount is equal to the oil deposit of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

"What is the grand design of China? China wants to control for economic and military purposes the South China Sea. China wants all the oil, gas, and fishery," Carpio said.

The report added that the methane hydrate found in the waters can power up the whole of China for a hundred years.

Carpio also said that China is already taking half of the annual fish catch in the South China Sea.

"China is taking already 50 percent of annual fish catch in the South China Sea to feed 1.4 billion people," he said.

Aside from losing resources to China, the Philippines was also losing territories three times the size of Quezon City, the biggest city in Metro Manila in terms of land area at almost 166 sq. kilometers.

Carpio said international law states that failure to protest the encroachment of a territory is as good as giving it up.

Keep protesting

He added that the government should file a protest with the United Nations or China itself.

"As long as we keep on asserting in a note verbale, in a formal protest we do not lose legally. So as long as we keep on saying we will enforce that ruling we are not waiving anything then we are preserving it," he said.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Generoso Calonge reiterated that the Philippines has been protesting China's intensified reclamation of the contested waters.

"Kung may meetings kami sa kanila may mga intercessional meetings may interaction with their embassy," he said.

"Verbal pero may mga minutes din yan," he added. — Jessica Bartolome/MDM, GMA News

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