“Benham Rise is clearly Philippine territory and its features are not for China to name,” Senator Bam Aquino said on February 14.
The senator said it is only right that the government counter any further moves to name features of our territory and propose remedies for the two formally named by China through the International Hydrographic Organization.
“I hope that the hearing I will chair on February 26 will bring clarity to the issue and help determine next steps,” he added. “It is imperative that we protect our territory from any foreign interest.”
“Dapat nang magkaroon ng matibay at malinaw na plano ang pamahalaan sa Philippine Rise, lalo ngayong unti-unti nang kumikilos ang China para ito’y angkinin,” Senator Bam said.
“Huwag nating isuko na parang West Philippine Sea ang napakahalagang yamang ito,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines does not recognize the Chinese names given to some undersea features in the Philippine Rise.
Roque said the Philippines is not a member of the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (IHO-IOC GEBCO).
Sources: http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/0214_aquino2.asp; https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/presidential-spokesperson-chinas-naming-undersea-features-philippine-rise/