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

4 weeks ago

(MARCH 26, 2019) – Malacañang maintained on Tuesday that it is unlikely for China to take the gas-rich Reed Bank, amid warnings from critics and a senior magistrate.

Reed Bank remains a public property and President Rodrigo Duterte has no intention of changing that, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo argued.

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

“He will not do that, bakit niya gagawin?,” the secretary added.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio earlier warned that China can seize “patrimonial assets and assets dedicated to commercial use” in case the Philippines defaults on its P3.69-billion loan for the Chico River pump irrigation project.

This is possible with the contract entered into by the Philippines and China, Carpio said, citing parts of the agreement.

But for Panelo, Carpio’s warning regarding the loan deal may be misplaced, given the Constitutional provision.

The secretary also mentioned the decision Carpio himself penned in 2002, stating that “the government must formally declare that the property of public dominion is no longer needed for public use or public service, before the same could be classified as patrimonial property of the State.”

“Hindi pwede ‘yung sinasabi niya kasi wala namang deklarasyon na yung Reed Bank is patrimonial property,” Panelo added.