Pimentel sees no problem with China’s Benham naming
While some of his colleagues were fuming, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III saw no problem with China naming five undersea features in the Philippine Rise since he said “no one has the monopoly” of the right to name any features on earth.
In fact, Pimentel also believes that the Philippines has no “exclusive right” to name even those within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Without reading the convention or the treaty, or the rules governing the name, common sense tells me that no one has a monopoly of the power or the right to name features on earth. Wala naman pong ganun,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s only to name. Iba naman yung exercising sovereign rights. Even sovereign rights do not mean sovereignty,” he said, “Una sa lahat, Benham Rise, sinong nagpangalan nyan…? Nagalit ba tayo noong Amerikano (ang nag) name nyan? Nagalit ba tayo? Ngayon, Chinese name, allergic tayo?”
Pimentel stressed that he was “not bothered” by China’s move as he advised everyone to read the rules about who can propose and oppose the name proposals.
Asked then why the government has objected to the Chinese names given to some features in the Philippine Rise, he said simply because the Philippines also wants its own names.
READ:Roque: PH rejects China naming Benham features
“So let’s just follow the procedures. Ako, hindi ako masyadong nag-aalala,” the Senate leader said.
Pimentel said he also saw no reason for the Philippines to file a diplomatic protest against China.
“Basta ako, without having read the treaty or the convention, ang feeling ko wala namang exclusive right ang Philippines to name features on earth even within our EEZ. Wala tayong exclusive right d’un,” he said.
“Ngayon kung naunahan tayo to name something, then there must be a procedure how to rename something so what’s the problem?” he further said.
Unlike Pimentel, some of his colleagues protested China’s move.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s call for the filing of a diplomatic protest against China was shared by Senator JV Ejercito, who branded the latest move as “bullying” the Philippine government.
“It’s probably a matter of time before we see Chinese structures on more artificial islands. Damn us! Are we this helpless?” Senator Panfilo Lacson wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.
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