PH must ‘act fast’ on islands in West PH Sea – Duterte » Manila Bulletin News

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PH must ‘act fast’ on islands in West PH Sea – Duterte

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By Genalyn D. Kabiling

Doha, Qatar — The Philippines must “act fast” in occupying its islands in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) before it loses them to other claimants, President Duterte said last Saturday in his talk at a Philippine-Qatar business forum here.

“With the movement of people there occupying the lands, I ordered my military to occupy the remaining 10 islands which are not inhabited, place our flag there, put some structures,” Duterte said in his remarks.

“I claim these islands as property of the Philippines. It’s because everybody is grabbing every land there in the South China Sea so if we do not act fast, we will end up with nothing,” he added.

The West Philippine Sea, as declared in an exective order issued by then President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2012, includes that part of the South China Sea covered by the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone 300 miles from Philippine land. It includes Kalayaan islands west of Palawan as well as Scarborough Shoal west of Zambales.

The President had earlier ordered government troops to occupy and fortify the islands in the Kalayaan group of islands. After China expressed concern over the move, Duterte assured that no weapon system will be installed on the islands. “We are just there to claim the islands for us because that is really ours,” he said.

The President, meantime, warned other nations against intruding into Benham Rise east of Luzon. The United Nations in 2008 approved the Philippines’ claim that it has sovereign rights to Benham Rise as part of its continental shelf.

President Duterte said he is renaming Benham Rise to “Philippine Ridge.”

The undersea plateau was named after American geologist Andrew Benham who surveyed the area in 1933.

Benham Rise recently figured in the news when Philippine officials said Chinese ships were spotted by sattellte crisscrossing the area from July to December last year. China, however, has assured Duterte that it would not claim Benham Rise.

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  • Gisingbayanko

    At last, he’s doing something right that’ll benefit the PH for generations to come.

  • Dante

    ganyan nga occupy occupy occupy…para maging complete na rights of the philippines to thw WPS…less talk only occupy is the solution..intelligent president..

  • Peter

    Agree ako. Go Digong!. // Neglected ito or too little attention given by past presidents. Walang clear-cut stand ang mga previous presidents or they were too busy socializing & making money. At mangyayari din sa Benham Rise pag walang action ang present philippine gov’t.

  • deyongra

    really eh ikaw Dutae ang mabagal

  • Eugene

    Relax all plan will exposed near future

    https://www. facebook. com/alphaomegaworld/photos/a.1391678934186135.1073741966.
    655256701161699/1398639336823428/?type=3

  • Josemakabayan

    Wow another laban o bawi moves again!!! Just the other week after appeasing the chinese that he will not implement his previous order to the military to occupy and put up bunkers in those islands, now he went about face and again ordered the military to move fast in occupying said islands???? ANO BATALAGA KUYA ????? LABAN O BAWI !!!!!

    • purple9

      The president is just joking. Don’t take it seriously.

    • ramon

      ung mga maatalino sana at matatapang s kayabangan dalhin dun s mga isla….dapat naging presidente nalang mga gagong to…

  • nelsito lim

    I will file residency rights to these islands ???? if President Duterte will open the islands to the public and I mean it. Panahon na siguro para mag katao dun. Yung Benham Rise naman, halos kadikit na ng mapa ng Luzon tapos inaangkin pa ren ng Tsina? Eh ano na lang ang sa ating mga Pilipino? Yung nakadikit na lupa sa ilalim ng mga kuko ng mga kamay at paa ? Aba, talaga namang dapat tantanan ng Tsina ang claim nila sa Benham.

  • BMT_540

    Parang iba na naman na pduts yung nagsasalita. Akala nya wala syang binitawan na salita or hind naka lathala yung mga urung-sulong nyang pronouncements. Hello mga ka dede es paano ba ito mukhang may sayad nga ang Poon ng Nazeraan. Kasalanan ni Bong Go ito nalipasan yata nang gutom or hindi nakabatak nang fentanyl sa tamang oras.