DAVAO CITY, Apr. 10, 2017 – President Rodrigo Duterte will be signing an executive order renaming the Benham Rise as either the Philippine Ridge or Philippine Rise.
President Duterte said this was among the Philippines’s assertions over its rights over its territories.
Earlier, Chinese vessels were spotted on the site, fueling speculation China was also eyeing the newly documented territory.
“But to all and sundry, iyang diyan na in-occupy natin, atin na iyan. That’s ours and we will hang onto it. The Benham Rise, on the other side maybe facing Tuguegarao, that’s also ours,” Duterte said, referring to the islands on the West Philippine Sea.
“I will be signing an executive order, maybe when I come back, remaining it ‘The Philippine Ridge’ or ‘The Philippine Rise.’”
“So iyan ang ano ko, I’m claiming both the ten or nine at saka iyong Benham Rise. I will rename it ‘Philippine Ridge’ as our exclusive property,” Duterte said.