By Dhel Nazario
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. has accepted China’s terms of reference (TOR) on the proposed joint oil exploration in the South China Sea as “superior to our own”.
“I accepted China’s version of the Terms of Reference as superior to our own. Everything going well,” Secretary Locsin tweeted on Sunday.
China’s TOR according to him, “was closer to the text and spirit of the brilliant MOU on Oil (and) Gas” making it a text that is impossible to earn bribes.
“A framework for honest dealing. A template against national betrayal,” he continued in his tweet on Monday. He clarified, however, that there is no one-year deadline on the specified project.
During the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last November, the Philippines and China signed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development” which the DFA Secretary drafted.
Contrary to what he stated, the said document stated that both sides are looking to complete the proposed energy agreement in a period of 12 months.
He read portions of the agreement during a television interview on CNN Philippines indicating that “The two governments will endeavor to agree on the cooperation arrangements within 12 months of this memorandum of agreement.”