By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter
A MOTION for reconsideration has been filed before the Supreme Court (SC) over its decision denying Palawan its 40% share in the Malampaya gas project.
“We filed a motion for reconsideration in the hope that Palawan will finally get its legitimate share of the Malampaya funds,” former presidential spokesperson Harry L. Roque was quoted as saying in a statement issued Friday.
He said a total of P120 billion is on the line for Palawan, should the Supreme Court decide to allow the royalty share.
Mr. Roque is the legal counsel of Kilusang Love Malampaya, which is among the petitioners of the Malampaya case. He filed the motion for reconsideration on Thursday, Feb. 14.
This stemmed from the SC en banc ruling on the petition denying Palawan its share of royalties from the gas project.
The decision is “a huge step backwards, not only for the people of Palawan, but for all local government units empowered under the 1987 Constitution and the Local Government Code,” Mr. Roque said.
He argued the 1987 Constitution considers continental shelves as part of the national territory, which means it shall be recognized as part the local government’s territory.
“There can be no strict separation between resources that the national government can develop and the local government units that have control over these resources precisely because we are under a unitary system of government, and not a federal system,” he said.
He added: “The means by which local governments can achieve fiscal autonomy and develop are clearly stated in the Constitution and the Local Government Code: 40 percent share from the government’s utilization of their resources. Hence, there is no textual basis or just basis for any other conclusion than that Palawan deserves 40 percent of the revenues from Malampaya.”