Manila protests Chinese intrusion

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MANILA has sent a note to the Chinese embassy demanding an explanation on why a Chinese survey ship last year entered the Benham Rise, an undersea region off the coast of Aurora province in the eastern Philippines.

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“The Philippines has expressed concerned about the reported presence of a Chinese ship in Benham Rise, which has been recognized by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf as Philippine waters,” said Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, on Friday.

“The Philippines has sent a note to the Chinese Embassy seeking clarification on this,” he added.
Malacañang vowed to assert Philippine sovereignty over the country’s territory as it likewise expressed concern over the reported presence of the Chinese survey ship in Benham Rise.

“The Department of National Defense has already notified the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding this matter as we continue to assert our sovereignty over our territory,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that the government had monitored in 2016 a Chinese ship surveying the 13-million hectare undersea region and biodiversity hotspot.

“One of the survey ships is also plying the Benham Rise already. Last year, it was monitored for about three months,” Lorenzana said in a forum at Camp Aguinaldo, the military headquarters.

“We started to look at some of the – we still have some friends who give us satellite photos, [and]these ships were actually plying the Benham Rise north of the Philippines [up]to Surigao,” he added.

Lorenzana said he had given instructions to the Navy to “accost” and “drive away” the surveying ship if it returned.

The Defense chief made the revelations as the Philippines and China renew ties strained by the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute in the previous administration.

Since assuming the presidency last year, President Rodrigo Duterte has sought closer ties with Beijing,
choosing to downplay July 2016 international ruling favoring the Philippines in the maritime dispute in exchange for reinvigorated economic ties.

The country’s claim to Benham Rise, an area east of Luzon island believed to be gas-rich, was approved by the United Nations in 2012.

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9 Comments

  1. JACINTO BAYBAY on

    Does the Administration really knows China’s hidden agenda? Our country should assert its sovereignty. China is a bully. He has duped the Philippine government . Its our fault for being submissive if not subservient already despite the Hague accord.

  2. The first thing the Philippines did wrong was send a note to the embassy. What you do is summon the chinese ambassador to come to< whatever department they need to report to, to explain in detail why their ships are entering philippine waters. You as a country are more important than the chinese ambassador. Show him who is in charge.

  3. PH thought that the chinks will stop stealing reefs and islands after the spratlys. Well since PH does not want to defend its sovereignty, the chinks will continue to steal from the PH. The chinks know that the PH government and elected officials are too busy with corruption and thievery of its own people and treasury. and so will take what they want. As long as there is no outside world inteference (except US) in this area, the chinks will continue to do what they feel is right for their indisputable historical rights. The US draw a red line on the construction of military base on Scarborough and the chinks heeded. Or else PH fishermen would have been shut out permanently from the shoal (fortunate for the fisher folks who depend on fishing the shoal for a living).

    There is grave punishment for not depending ones own sovereignty, sticking ones head in the sand, and defiantly not asking the international community for rule of law support, The harsh reality is your future generations (PH) are going to be speaking mandarin and no freedom from chinese communist rule. To add insult to injury, this indepedence and freedom from occupation your fore fathers fought so hard for, is being undermined by corrupt and incompetent government officials and military. The imcompetency level of these government officials and military, includiing the pnp is very alarming to the international community But the PH is an independent nation (for now, until the chinks move in totally) and a banana republic that does not need any help. A SAD story!

  4. Urge Du30 to assertively do something about our territorial rights over shoals and islands within the Phil EEZ. Not this rubberstamp congress, but the people themselves should warn him as one that, as much as 16 M of us voted for him, so much more is expected of his leadership specially in defense of our domain. Dapat matapang siya – call it killer instinct – towards territory grabbers like the Intsik, not merely towards our very own KABABAYANs.

  5. Pensador de Manila on

    How can I be a shortsighted man! In dealing with territorial problems emanating from the several claimants should be settled according to existing Laws. China has already taken the Philippine economic zone in the west Philippine sea by building artificial Islands which are intended for China’s military jet fighters and missiles defense structure. If we were to look DU30 allegiance to China, we would see it from his fear to be investigated in his human rights violation that can be already classified as the crime against humanity. I would believe he would not have made his allegiance to China if he knew he would not be liable in those killing of drug suspects starting from his term of service in Davao as mayor and now as the president of the Republic of the Philippines. Therefore, Du30 only thinks of himself and for himself: he destroyed many lives of the Filipino people and destroyed Philippine’s territorial right over the west Philippine sea.

  6. Pensador de Manila on

    I have no one to put the entire blame than to DU30 of Chinas’ incursion in just anywhere of the Philippine territory. Du30 is the most stubborn leader we ever have had in the Philippine history. He knows only how to kill drug suspects. He does not know how to use the privileges provided by the Law through UNCLOS promulgation of Philippine territory. DU30 is the weakest leader we ever have had in the Philippine history. We are always sorry of Chinas bullying. If I were DU30, I would resign immediately to allow new good and strong leadership in the Philippine government. DU30 is a very weak leader; he only knows how to kill drug suspects, drug users and drug peddlers- that is all. Sorry Philippines- you have your leader DU30 who supposedly should stay put in Davao.

    • You are shortsighted! He is the best my friend. Wait for final day of reconning on the problem of the West Philippine sea. He assured one day in his stay of office he will face that problems? No more bla bla please.