Duterte still thinking whether to include Cusi in PH-China body in joint oil, gas exploration:
Energy Secretary Al Cusi is not a shoo-in as everybody expected in the five-man steering committee from the Philippines to finalize the joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
President Rodrigo Duterte has so far named Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in the committee that would negotiate for the terms of extracting oil and gas from the Recto Bank which the Permanent Court of Arbitration said was within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the West Philippine Sea. China has refused to recognize the arbitral ruling.
“Well verily, it should be Secretary Esperon, Secretary Lorenzana, then maybe one or two ‘yung hindi ko na-ano sa ano. About five. So para walang tabla,” said Duterte in a briefing.
When asked about Cusi, Duterte said: “Pwede. Sa oil? Tignan ko. I have to listen to him.” Duterte is batting for 60 percent share of the REcto Bank production which he believes the country should pursue while setting aside the country’s territorial dispute with China.