Duterte orders stop to all foreign research in Benham — Piñol
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a stop to all marine explorations by foreign scientists in the resource-rich Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Duterte made the order during the 22nd Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday.
“President Rody Duterte last night ordered the cessation of all marine explorations and studies by foreign scientists and directed the Philippine Navy to ‘chase out’ any vessel fishing or conducting [research],” Piñol said in a Facebook post.
“Let me be very clear about this: the Philippine Rise is ours and any insinuation that it is open to everybody should end with this declaration,” Piñol added, quoting Duterte.
Piñol said the President ordered the Department of National Defense to deploy Navy vessels and the Air Force “to conduct fly overs in the area to check on the presence of foreign vessels.”
As of posting time, Malacañang has yet to confirm Piñol’s statement. /cbb
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