MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso vowed that he will pursue the Hague ruling and international policy in the country’s dispute with China on the West Philippine Sea should he be elected as the country’s next president.
During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday, the Manila Mayor said that “we must be guided by law and order that includes our relationship with the world.”
“There is the ruling in The Hague that favors the country, protecting our sovereignty. We have a paper. We won. We will continue to pursue that.”Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso
For Domagoso, the right of Filipino fisherfolk to fish within the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea is a non-negotiable.
“We must fish in that area as Filipinos, undisturbed at hindi nahaharang, di napeperwisyo. Will I make sense with the Chinese government? I’ll try to. I’ll meet them halfway somewhere else but we must fish,” he said.
Moreno also mentioned during the forum that he is open to brokering a deal between Filipino private firms and private groups in China for the exploration and possible extraction of oil and natural gas in the West Philippine Sea.
The presidential hopeful explained that he would do this because the country currently does not have the means to extract oil and natural gas from the West Philippine Sea.
“We don’t have an engineering facility to dig oil? Then we dig with them: private sectors in the country and private sectors in China.”Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso
But he also noted that whatever would be extracted from the WPS will be used to finance the country’s development — building up the country’s naval and coastal defenses, lowering domestic electricity costs, and boosting industrialization.
“Magmumura ang kuryente. Magiging compettiive tayo sa Vietnam at Malaysia in terms of industrialization kasi competitive na kuryente natin. Kaya ayaw tayo puntahan (ng investors) simply because the cost of electricity. Para kang nakatira sa Forbes Park o Beverly Hills,” he said.