Benham Rise is a large piece of pie, sitting astride the eastern coast of Luzon......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 20th, 2017

Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

FACT CHECK: Bong Go did not raise Philippine flag at Benham Rise

Claim: Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go raised the Philippine flag at Benham Rise or Philippine Rise . The claim was published on May 16 with a headline “SAP Bong Go, Itinaas Ang Bandera ng Pilipinas sa Benham Rise” (SAP Bong Go Raises Philippine Flag at Benham ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

How dolphins shaped environmental laws, protected Benham Rise

MANILA, Philippines— In 2007, environmental lawyers led by Atty. Benjamin Cabrido Jr, took the initiative to serve the most unlikely clients: dolphins, whales, and porpoises. For almost 8 years, they argued in court and insisted that oil exploration, development and exploitation of resources by Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. (Japex) ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018


A year ago, a large underwater plateau east of Luzon was recognized as an area over which the Philippines exclusively enjoys sovereign rights. The recognition was a source of national celebration......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Critics hit Benham Rise publicity stunt in Casiguran

The jet ski stunt of the president's son Sebastian Duterte and special assistant Bong Go through the waters of Casiguran, Aurora is an embarrassment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Sen. Leila de Lima said Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Palace spins Duterte s staying behind as scientists sail to Benham Rise

Sailing through the waters above Benham or Philippine Rise would not have any significance, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Duterte on Philippine Rise, TPB and Buhay Carinderia, North Korea on meeting with U.S. | Midday wRap

Today on Rappler: President Rodrigo Duterte breaks his promise to sail to the Philippine Rise or Benham Rise, to assert the country's' rights over this uncontested territory.  Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat says she will meet with Tourism Promotions Board or TPB chief Cesar Montano to discuss allegations of corruption in connection to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Duterte on Philippine Rise, Bello applies for Ombudsman post, Albayalde on barangay officials | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: President Rodrigo Duterte has advised two assistant secretaries from the Justice Department and the Public Works Department to resign due to alleged corruption.  President Rodrigo Duterte is not pushing through with a plan to ride a jet ski around Philippine Rise or Benham Rise.  A Rappler source says Labor Secretary Silvestre ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Duterte breaks promise to visit Philippine Rise

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte broke his promise that he will sail to the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, to assert the Philippines' rights over this uncontested territory.  Duterte also did not ride a jet ski as earlier planned, reminiscent of his 2016 campaign promise to ride ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Duterte backs out of jet ski ride to Benham Rise

President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer push through with his plan of riding a jet ski to the Philippine or Benham Rise, an underwater plateau off the coast of Aurora......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Parts of Benham Rise declared marine protected area

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday issued a proclamation declaring parts of the Benham or Philippine Rise a marine protected area......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Duterte fulfills promise, flies to Philippine Rise to assert sovereignty

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday embarked on a visit to the Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise) to fulfill his promise to assert the country’s sovereign rights over the uncontested undersea region off Aurora province. Source link link: Duterte fulfills promise, flies to Philippine Rise to assert sovereignty.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Duterte scraps jet ski ride in Philippine Rise

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is not pushing through with a plan to ride a jet ski around Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, on Tuesday, May 15.  Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said he and Duterte’s son, Sebastian, will represent the Philippine ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Duterte may ride jet ski during visit to Philippine Rise

  ONBOARD BRP DAVAO DEL SUR - President Rodrigo Duterte may briefly ride a jet ski during his visit to the Philippine Rise. Around 40 journalists covering the President's visit to the resource- rich continental shelf were briefed of this possible scenario. At least seven jet skis were onboard this Navy ship. Duterte is expected to arrive at the Philippine Rise on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the first anniversary of his renaming of the resource-rich continental shelf from Benham Rise. The Chief Executive will board the BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602). He would then lead the send-off ceremony for the 50 Filipino scientists who would conduct scientific exploration ther...Keep on reading: Duterte may ride jet ski during visit to Philippine Rise.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

‘Philippines to build in Benham Rise to assert claim’

President Duterte has formed a team of experts to conduct a study at the Philippine Rise......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Duterte, Filipino scientists off to Benham Rise

Duterte, Filipino scientists off to Benham Rise.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Philippines loses bid to void Chinese names for Benham Rise features

The government's recent protest over China's naming of five features in Philippines-controlled underwater region Benham Rise came too late after years of inaction......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

Duterte to visit Benham Rise next week, assert sovereignty

After his trip to Singapore for the 32nd ASEAN Summit, President Rodrigo R. Duterte is set to visit the controversial Benham Rise, a seismically active undersea region in the Philippine sea, to deliver a speech there next week. “Next week, I’m going to Benham Rise and I will make a statement there that nobody owns […] The post Duterte to visit Benham Rise next week, assert sovereignty appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

Duterte to sail to Philippine Rise next week

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the Philippine Rise (Benham Rise) next week to assert the country’s sovereign rights over the potentially resource-rich undersea plateau off Luzon coast, a few months after Chinese oceanographers surveyed the area......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

Duterte says he will sail to Benham Rise next week

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he will sail next week to Benham Rise, also known as the Philippine Rise, to assert that this undersea territory belongs to the Philippines.  "Next week I'm going to sail, set sail. I'm going to Benham Rise, and I'm ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 27th, 2018