“Mr. President, ang pinag-uusapan natin talaga diyan at ang bottom line dito ay kayamanan eh,” former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the West Philippine Sea publicly aired May 17.
“Ang kayamanan nandiyan sa West Philippine Sea na ‘yan, according to the best estimate or rather the proven reserves of oil and natural gas sa West Philippine Sea is 9 – 7 billion barrels of crude and 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s a very big quantity. That is already proven, it’s there,” Enrile said.
He added that “ang estimate ng China, kaya ganyan ang galaw ng Tsina diyan, ay there is a potential of 130 billion barrels of oil in the West Philippine Sea. So with that amount or volume of wealth to be harvested, I doubt whether China will easily bow to anybody without asserting its rights over the area.”