The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is sending an Islander plane and Parola-class Multi-role Response Vessel (MRRV) BRP Suluan (MRRV-4406) to serve as “eyes” in Philippine Rise.
This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s firm stand that only Filipinos should benefit from Philippine Rise.
“The ship and the Islander would serve as the ‘eyes’ in the area as part of our maritime patrol,” PCG spokesman Captain Armand Balilo said as quoted by Philippine Star.
Balilo said international vessels are still allowed to pass through waters of Philippine Rise.
“They would be allowed to pass but they would not be allowed to conduct any illegal activities in the area,” he said.
“If anybody, any country for that matter, would say that they’d want to try and experiment there without our permission and worse begin exploration talks there dito sa Benham or Philippine Rise, hindi talaga ako papayag, and it will mean war,” President Duterte said on March 1.
Source: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/03/04/1793367/philippine-coast-guard-plane-keeps-watch-over-philippine-rise; https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180301-Speech-Of-President-Rodrigo-Roa-Duterte-During-The-Opening-Ceremonies-Of-The-National-Special-Weapon-And-Tactics-Swat-Challenge.pdf