Razon’s Prime Infra lashes back at Malampaya extension critic
MANILA -Billionaire Enrique Razon Jr.’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. issued a strongly worded statement after former Philippine National Oil Co. president Eduardo Mañalac questioned the 15-year extension of the Malampaya gas project.
Mañalac also raised the issue of potential corruption in a television interview with ABS-CBN.
“While we celebrate the Malampaya contract renewal as a critical step to avert a power crisis, Mr. Eduardo Mañalac is using this development to push his own agenda, making unsubstantiated claims against the SC 38 Consortium,” Prime said in a statement.
“It is appalling to hear Mr. Mañalac argue for the supposed “losses for the government or the Filipino people” when we know that he is the same character who brokered the tripartite agreement for the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (MSU) among the Philippines, Vietnam, and China, essentially compromising Philippine territory by allowing the two countries to explore our natural resources without government supervision,” it added.
Razon was referring to the 2005 JMSU deal among China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Vietnam Oil and Gas Corp. (PetroVietnam) and the PNOC for seismic work on a 142,886-square-kilometer area in the West Philippine Sea.
Mañalac had signed the bilateral and tripartite agreements as then president and chief executive officer of PNOC.
The Supreme Court invalidated this tripartite agreement in January, saying that the three parties had violated Section 2, Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution for “allowing wholly owned foreign corporations to participate in the exploration of the country’s natural resources without observing the safeguards” provided in the law.
Under the Constitution, the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources must be under the full control and supervision of the state.
“By entering the JMSU deal which mostly covered Philippine waters, Mr. Mañalac effectively acknowledged that the Philippines does not recognize nor claim exclusive rights in areas within the West Philippine Sea, including the Recto Bank believed to contain huge natural gas and oil deposits,” Prime said.
“The Supreme Court striking down the MSU as unconstitutional has evoked a range of reactions within legal circles, with some accusing Mr. Mañalac of committing treason. To what degree are you patriotic as you advocate for the state’s acquisition of a vital power asset, despite having a questionable history of attempting to compromise Philippine territory? Whose interests are you truly serving, Mr. Mañalac?,” the company added.