Military’s approval now needed for PHL Rise expedition

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) now has a say if a foreign exploration in Philippine Rise, formerly Benham Rise, will be permitted or not.

President Duterte said during the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club at Manila Hotel on February 19 that National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will give recommendation if an expedition will be allowed after consulting the military.

“He has to give the recommendation, then he has to consult the commands. Then if the military says that it’s good, it can be done, well, I’ll give you the permit,” the President said.

“Ang sabi nila, Benham or the Philippine Rise and I would insist on the Philippine Rise because that is ours, period. We allowed expeditions, undersea expeditions. The Americans made the most of it. China, twice,” the President said. “Many other countries made expeditions, ‘yung underground, pati ‘yung continental shelf.”

“Continental shelf is there, that’s the water, that’s the land, pero may pababa pa ‘yan. And what is tied to this land, sa ilalim ng tubig is the continental shelf. So my claim is the 200 miles – and the Philippine Rise ridge. If it goes as far as Guam, akin ‘yan. Pagka p**** ‘yan doon sa ilalim, ‘pag umabot ng San Francisco, akin ‘yan, ‘wag mong galawin. I will insist,” he added.