#PingSays: On the row over China’s renaming of Benham Rise features | Feb. 14, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions regarding China’s reported naming of some features of Benham Rise, and how the Philippines can address this.

Quotes from the interview…Β 

On how to address the Benham Rise renaming issue:
“First, by way of a diplomatic protest. And second, although di tayo member ng international association kung saan sina-submit ang pagpapangalan sa sea mounts, pero executive action ang kailangan. Sa Senate pwede mag-exercise ng oversight, at the same time pwede pagusapan ito by way of resolution.”
“That (diplomatic protest) could be a basis for filing because clearly atin ang Benham Rise. Pasok na masyado, 17 nautical miles.”

Apprehension about China’s actions at Benham Rise:
“Ang apprehension natin is, kung pinangalanan ng Chinese names ang sea mounts di far-fetched na balang araw sabihin nila kanila na naman yan. At baka mag-establish sila ng mga structures and create artificial islands just like what happened sa West Philippine Sea.”
“Dapat talaga di pinayagan dahil meron tayong capability to do our own research. Marami tayong qualified.”
“It (renaming the structures) can create a perception na parang pwede sila mag-lay claim. Remember West Philippine Sea, basta South China Sea, parang kine-claim nila ang mga islands and shoals na naroon. Di far-fetched. Bakit in the first place papangalanan ng Chinese names ang sea mounts and features sa Benham Rise na alam ng lahat declared na talagang PH territory?”

On whether DFA Sec. Cayetano should talk about this issue:
“He should settle this issue with China. Nagpo-protest ang executive, according to the spokesperson. They should pursue, not just (give) lip service.”

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