Lawmakers belonging to the House Makabayan bloc want to summon administration officials to explain the substantial contents of the economic agreements entered into by the Philippines and China.
Specifically, they want to summon officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Economic Development Authority (Neda).
As directed by House Resolution No. 2336, the appropriate committee will invite the officials to shed light on the 29 deals.
The resolution was filed Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.
According to the lawmakers, there is a need to tackle the agreements, especially the memorandum of understanding on cooperation on oil and gas development, to help the House “determine whether the deals are beneficial or inimical to the strategic interests of the Filipino people.”
The hearing, they added, was also part of duty of Congress to provide checks and balances.
President Rodrigo Duterte and his Chinese conterpart, Xi Jinping, witnessed the signing of 29 agreements between the two nations that are locked in a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea during Xi’s state visit to the Philippines on Nov. 19 and 20.
READ: PH, China sign MOU on oil and gas development, 28 other deals
In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled Beijing’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea as invalid.
But the PResident has chosen to set aside the historic ruling and engaged China in bilateral talks.
Read the resolution here: HR02336 – Duterte China Deals
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