Philippines Challenges China And Seeks To Drill In Disputed Waters
PHILIPPINES - As China increasingly invades the West Philippine Sea illegally and drills the ocean floor in the disputed waters searching for possible energy sources, the Philippines challenges China, with the U.S. ready to back them up.
Philippine armed forces leader, Cirilito Sobejana said that China has "not honored" agreements made by China and the Philippines, as hundreds of Chinese ships continue to invade Philippine waters and build structures in the area.
Sobejana vowed to respond by also building structures in the disputed waters and the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are lobbying Philippine President Rudrigo Duterte to tap into the oil and gas located within the seabed of the disputed West Philippine Sea and lay their own claim to the area.
Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi stated "While we are protecting our territories, the DOE is trying to work together with the DFA on how we can continue exploration in the area. We are doing this without compromising our sovereignty. That’s one thing we can assure you as we progress in our exploration on how to develop and utilize the resources there at the West Philippine Sea"
While it is likely the United States would come to the aid of the Philippines and honor their MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) if China attacks Philippine ships and drilling operations, it is not absolutely certain, though Philippine diplomacy is moving back toward the United States and away from China with renewed aggression from the communist regime.
The Spratly Islands are rich in untapped oil and gas, largely untouched due to the fear of hostilities from a number of surrounding countries flaring up if any one country attempts to tap the resources.