Pangilinan says Duterte’s action needed in West PH Sea than in PH Rise
Opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday said that it is in the West Philippine Sea, not in the Philippine Rise, where President Rodrigo Duterte should set his foot and assert the country’s sovereignty.
“On the western side of the country, our sovereignty is clearly violated, our security is threatened, and leadership is badly needed,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“It is in the West Philippine Sea, not in Benham Rise, where [the] action is necessary and critical,” he added.
To celebrate the anniversary renaming of the Philippines Rise from Benham Rise, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday visited the resource-rich undersea feature off the Philippine Sea.
Malacañang announced that Duterte would ride a jet ski to the Philippine Rise, in reference to his campaign promise of planting the Philippine flag on the Spratlys on a jet ski.
“The Benham (Philippine) Rise is uncontested territory. Atin ito, at walang ibang umaangkin nito. Hindi inaagaw o inaarmasan ng China o ng kahit anong bansa ang Benham Rise. Teritoryo natin ito,” Pangilinan noted.
The senator pointed out that on the other side of the Philippines, China has deployed anti-air and anti-ship missiles within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
The Philippines has not protested Beijing’s militarization in the South China Sea.
On the other hand, Vietnam, one of the claimants of South China Sea, asked China to withdraw its missiles.
Pangilinan noted that Beijing’s missiles in Zamora reef are only 13 nautical miles from Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
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