Duterte: Naming PH Rise features doesn’t give China rights over the area
Filipinos should not be alarmed with the move of China to give Chines names to undersea features in the Philippine Rise, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday in a speech at a gathering of Chinese-Filipino businessmen, whose guest included Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.
The joint event – the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. (CFBCI) – was held at the Fiesta Pavillion of the Manila Hotel.
Duterte said China did not get sovereign rights over the underwater features by naming them.
“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,” he said. “But this Philippine Rise is ours, period. The continental shelf below it is Philippine jurisdiction, that is ours. In the meantime, I am not allowing any expedition anymore.”
He brushed off Beijing’s move to give Chinese names to the undersea features at the Philippine Rise.
“Eh alangan gawain nilang German, ang alam lang nila Chinese eh. Those are just directions na tapos na sila diyan. Of course, they do it in Chinese because it’s their dialect. Alangan i-Tagalog mo ‘yan,” he said.
Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, had earlier disclosed that the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) approved the names proposed by China in 2017 for five undersea features at the 3-million-hectare undersea plateau off Aurora province. /atm
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