THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is demanding the share of the Bangsamoro people on the ongoing oil exploration in Sulu by an international energy corporation.

In a report by, the MILF reminded Exxon Mobil "not to forget that it is operating within the Moro ancestral homeland and that the rightful share of the Bangsamoro people is not written off by its agreement with the Manila government."

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The MILF stated that the "unsigned and yet initialed" Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) has already provided for a 75-25 sharing of wealth, including oil or gas production, “in favor of the future Moro state.”

This same MOA-AD was, however, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2008.

This issue of wealth-sharing between the Philippine government and the future Bangsamoro state or sub-state is one of the outstanding issues in the current government-MILF peace talks.

The MILF claimed to have both political and military presence in the island provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Basilan.

"But the military continues to downplay its growing presence in these provinces for strategic and tactical reasons," the report said.

It was learned that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Exxon Mobil have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the security and protection of the company’s oil exploration in Sulu Sea.

Lieutenant General Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command chief, said the MOU signing took place Thursday at Camp Basilio Navarro, which houses the Westmincom headquarters in Zamboanga City.

Aside from Dolorfino, the MOU was signed by Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) chief, as one of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) representatives, as well as by Operations Office Scott Spradlin on behalf of the exploration firm.

Exxon Mobil Corporation, or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company and was formed on November 30, 1999 by the merger of Exxon and Mobil.

ExxonMobil is the world's second largest publicly traded company when measured by market capitalization. Exxon Mobil's reserves were 72 billion oil-equivalent barrels at the end of 2007. At current rates of production, they are expected to last over 14 years.

The company has 38 oil refineries in 21 countries constituting a combined daily refining capacity of 6.3 million barrels. While it is the largest of the six oil super majors with daily production of 3.921 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent) in 2008, this is only approximately three percent of world production and ExxonMobil's daily production is surpassed by several of the largest state-owned petroleum companies.

When ranked by oil and gas reserves it is 14th in the world with less than one percent of the total. (BOT)