Duterte to set foot on PH Rise to declare ‘nobody owns this place but us’
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, next week.
“Next week I’m going set sail on, I’m [going] to the Benham Rise and I will make a statement there that nobody but nobody owns this place [but the Philippines], including the continental shelf, the underground landmass that extends under the sea,” Duterte said in a speech at the 102nd Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Mason in the Philippines on Thursday night in Davao City.
He even joked that if the continental shelf would extend to the United States, it would also be part of the Philippines.
“If it extends to San Francisco Bay, San Francisco Bay is a property of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
The President said he will take drastic action to defend the Philippine Rise.
“I said, I will go to war and I will go to war,” he said.
Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to conduct a regular patrol in Philippines following his order to the troops to chase away any foreign vessel fishing or conducting research in the resource-rich continental shelf.
The chief executive had earlier warned foreign countries to get the Philippine government’s permission in conducting any activity in the Philippine Rise or risk war with the country. /muf/ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.