IN RESPONSE TO PANELO | Oil, gas in Reed Bank already patrimonial with 1972 law – Carpio

MARCH 27, 2019 – Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio defended his statement raising the possibility of China taking over the gas fields in Reed Bank, after Malacañang called his position “misplaced.”

On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo asserted that the area remains public property and President Rodrigo Duterte has no intention to change it.

“Magiging patrimonial property lang ang isang public property kung merong enabling law saying pwede ‘yan o may proclamation ang Presidente,” he explained.

Panelo even cited the decision Carpio penned in 2002 to back up his argument.

READ ALSO: MISPLACED WARNINGS | Duterte won’t declare Reed Bank as patrimonial property – Palace

In response, Carpio used the Oil and Exploration Development Act of 1972 to refute Panelo’s claim. The Department of Energy already granted a service contract to Forum Energy to exploit the gas in Reed Bank pursuant to this law which was amended by Presidential Decree No. 1857 in 1983.

“Section 8 of this law states: ‘The (service) contract may authorize the Contractor to take and dispose of and market either domestically or for export all petroleum produced under the contract subject to supplying the domestic requirements of the Republic of the Philippines on a pro-rata basis’,” Carpio wrote.

“This law proclaims the oil and gas covered by a service contract as subject to sale to the market – which makes such oil and gas patrimonial,” he added.

Carpio also explained that the power to reclassify from public domain to patrimonial is a legislative power.

“The president’s power to so reclassify was merely delegated by Congress,” he said.

NOT YET EXECUTORY | Imelda Marcos may still run in 2019 polls amid guilty verdict

NOVEMBER 9, 2018 – Former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos can still pursue her gubernatorial bid in the 2019 midterm elections, an official from the Office of the Ombudsman said.

Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Quilala said Marcos has still legal remedies which she can avail of amid the guilty verdict of Sandiganbayan for seven counts of graft.

READ ALSO: AFTER 27 YEARS | Imelda Marcos found guilty of graft – Sandiganbayan

“Puwede niyang i-akyat sa Supreme Court kapag may nakita siyang grave abuse of discretion, hindi pa po siya final and executory,” Quilala told reporters in an ambush interview on Friday.

The arrest warrant ordered against the widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos may also be set aside if she appears before the anti-graft court. Quilala moved for the release of warrant following the absence of Mrs. Marcos in the reading of verdict.

“Binigyan siya ng 30 days to explain her absence… Pwede naman pong i-lift ang warrant of arrest kasi nga may remedies pa po siya na available,” the prosecutor said.

Quilala said there may be a possibility that the Marcos’ camp chose not to attend as they felt the court’s decision will be against them.

“I’m not saying alam na nila, baka may pakiramdam sila kasi hindi sila present. And the accuse was given several oppotunities to even deny the allegations against her, hindi sila nag-avail nun,” he added.

Amid this, the prosecution considers the Sandiganbayan decision a victory even if Marcos was acquitted in three counts of graft involving her financial ties with local foundations.

“We presented former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and according to his testimony, hindi naman directly ma-pinpoint ‘yung participation ni First Lady, so hindi ganoon kasama ang loob namin as to the local corporation,” Quilala said.