Razon-led Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. slammed former Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) president Eduardo Mañalac for questioning the 15-year extension of the Malampaya gas project contract.
“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 Infra Chairman Enrique Razon Jr. said in a statement.
Earlier, Mañalac questioned the contract renewal of Service Contract 38 in an ABS-CBN news report.
“Ano yung basehan n’yo, nung pinirmahan n’yo yung approval ng extension? Kasi ang sinasabi natin, yung mga service contractor na yan dapat may alam, at may pera. Ano ba sinabi sa inyo? Was graft committed? Because somebody gave certain advantages to some underserving entity causing losses for the government or the Filipino people,” Mañalac said.
Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier signed the 15-year renewal for the Malampaya SC38, allowing continued production in the Malampaya gas field to ensure that the remaining gas reserves are further explored and utilized.
“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 Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) among the Philippines, Vietnam, and China, essentially compromising Philippine territory by allowing the two countries to explore our natural resources without government supervision,” Razon said.
Razon was citing the 2005 JMSU deal with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Vietnam Oil and Gas Corp. (PetroVietnam), and PNOC for a seismic work in a 142,886 square-kilometer area in the West Philippine Sea.
Mañalac, who was then president and CEO of PNOC, signed the bilateral and tripartite agreements – which were then invalidated by the Supreme Court for having violated Section 2, Article 2 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” in the law.
Under the 1987 Constitution, exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources should fall under the full control and supervision of the country.
“If this is Mr. Mañalac’s attitude towards Philippine sovereignty, is he so deeply offended by the fact that the Malampaya gas field is now under the operation of an entirely Filipino consortium, a development that should be a source of pride for all of us?” Razon said.