DOE halts oil exploration in the Spratly; is this a sign of weakness or strength?

In a report filed by Marisol of Abdulrahman of GMA News, the Department of Energy has ordered the oil exploration in the Spratly Islands, particularly in Northwest Palawan.

Many experts believed the move is connected to the case being filed by the Philippine government against China in the UN Arbitrary Tribunal in regards to the disputed territory in the Spratly Islands.

Malacanang quickly issued the statement to calm the nerves of the people and said,

DOE’s decision is based on the existence of force majeure situation and taking the national interest into account.

Experts agree that halting the oil explorations in the West Philippine Sea does not mean we are surrendering our claim to the disputed territory but the best course of action while waiting for the promulgation of the decision of the Arbitrary Tribunal.

Meanwhile, China is not showing any signs of slowing down its construction activities in the West Philippines, which is consistent with its position that it will not abide by whatever decision the Arbitrary Tribunal will hand down.

Instead, the Chinese government is building more structures to strengthen its claim of the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.

What is your opinion of the Department of Energy’s decision to halt exploration in the West Philippine Sea?

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