Benham Rise

“What happened to the P500-M research fund?” – PAMALAKAYA to DENR

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“What happened to the P500-M research fund?” – PAMALAKAYA to DENR050112 Benham Rise 1

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) what happened to the P500-million budget allotted to the agency for marine biodiversity research of the Philippine Rise (formerly known as the Benham Rise).

The group learned that Senator Loren Legarda in the early part of 2017 excised P500 million from the DENR’s National Greening Program (NGP) to the research purpose of Philippine Rise to tap the resource-rich underwater plateau’s marine potentials.

But the group said the DENR has yet to release to the public any result of the research or if the budget was spent properly.

The DENR has been keeping silent on the issue of Philippine Rise despite the government pronouncement that the Filipino scientist could not afford to conduct research due to lack of funding. The budget allotted to the agency is enough for research because according to scientists, it will only take at least P300 million for the research on Philippine Rise. Now with that big budget allotted to the agency, who is to say that we still need foreign countries like the China, U.S., and Japan to conduct research in our own yard?”  PAMALAKAYA Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement.

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BFAR’s submissive statement in Benham Rise hit

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BFAR’s submissive statement in Benham Rise hit050112 Benham Rise 1

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday lashed out at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) over its clumsy statement regarding China’s research plan in the Philippine Rise (formerly known as Benham Rise).

This wasn’t what we want to hear from the Bureau of Fisheries who is supposed to be in the frontline of defending Philippine Rise’s marine resources. After some time of keeping mum in the midst of the raging controversy regarding the Philippine Rise, the BFAR just finally came out but with a cowardly submissive position,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

According to BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona during a round-table discussion last week, the issue is “not confrontational” and that it is okay for us to share resources with China to supply its citizens with our marine products. But the group said the agreement between the Philippine government and Beijing has only reached a joint research, not a sharing of resources.

BFAR has already offered the sharing of resources when the Philippine government and China have only achieved a joint research agreement in the first place.The country has yet to fully tap the resources in Philippine Rise, so why would we let other countries to lead the exploration and exploitation,” added Hicap.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

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“Speak up on Benham Rise issue!” – DENR, BFAR told

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“Speak up on Benham Rise issue!” – DENR, BFAR told

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Retired armed forces chief, Roy Cimatu (L), head of the Philippines’ Iraqi crisis management team, confers with National Security Adviser Roilo Golez during a briefing at the National Security Council in suburban Quezon, north of Manila, 11 March 2003. Cimatu has instructed the Philippine embassy staff in Baghdad to relocated to Amman in Jordan amid signs of an imminent US-led war on Iraq. AFP PHOTO/JAY DIRECTO / AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO

Manila, Philippines – “In the midst of the raging controversy regarding the Philippine Rise, the deafening silence of two government lead agencies, namely, the BFAR and the DENR is utterly disappointing,” according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas), urging the two agencies to speak up and make a stand against the government’s sell-out of our marine territory.

The group said Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are supposed to be at the forefront of conducting research in the fishing resources and management of the marine biodiversity of the rise.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

Aside from China, the Duterte administration has approved research applications from several countries such as Japan, United States, and South Korea; which was opposed by the fishers group, saying it is a gross violation of our patrimony and tantamount to surrender of sovereign rights.

The fisherfolk group noted that BFAR and DENR have already conducted exploratory trips and research on the plateau before.

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Develop local marine science and fishing industry, not “joint research” with China – fisherfolk

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Develop local marine science and fishing industry, not “joint research” with China –

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Philippine Rise | Photo by Interaksyon.com

fisherfolk

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday said that by promoting and developing the local marine science industry, we could utilize and exploit the Philippine Rise on our own even without the help of China which has a vested interest over the 13-million-hectare underwater plateau.

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

A joint research between the Philippines and China has been approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which was opposed by the fishers group, saying the joint research blanketed with the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) is a pretext of China for another occupation activity in our marine territory.

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Philippine Rise belongs to Ph – Fisherfolk to Malacañang

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Philippine Rise belongs to Ph – Fisherfolk to Malacañang050112 Benham Rise 1

Manila, Philippines — The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday lambasted the Malacanañg Palace over its pro-China statement stating that the Philippines can’t claim the Philippine Rise.

 

Philippine Rise is a 13-million-hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed South China Sea, it has been declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in April 2012 as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Through the Executive Order No. 25 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year, the undersea feature has been renamed from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

 

A joint research between the Philippines and China has been approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which was opposed by the fishers group, saying the joint research blanketed with the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) is a pretext of China for another occupation activity in our marine territory.

 

It appears that renaming the resource-rich feature to Philippine Rise is futile; what’s in the name when you will not exercise your sovereign rights and even allow other countries to claim and exploit our abundant marine resources under the guise of “joint research”. The renaming of Benham Rise was supposed to strengthen our claim on it, not to surrender,”

 

“Instead of crafting a comprehensive plan on how we can utilize and exploit its marine resources and gas reserves for the benefit of the country, the government has almost abandoned our legal claim,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk rejects “joint research” in Ph Rise

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Fisherfolk rejects “joint research” in Ph Rise

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A protest in front of the Chinese consulate to condemn China’s usurpation in West Philippine Sea

Manila, Philippines – “This seemingly “joint research” between our country and China in Philippine Rise is a pretext to Beijing’s another occupation activity in our marine territory. Just like what it did in the West Philippine Sea, we will soon be surprised that our resource-rich waters have been already reclaimed by China with its established defense facilities,”

This was the reaction of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) assailing the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for allowing China, in partner with the Philippines to conduct an unspecified research activities in Philippine Rise (formerly known as Benham Rise).

Philippine Rise is a 13-million hectare resource rich underwater plateau located opposite to the disputed waters of South China Sea; it is endowed with abundant marine species like first-class tuna, and untapped mineral and gas deposits. It was confirmed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in April 2012.

The fisherfolk group likened the “joint research” to the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in 2005 that led to the complete takeover of China to the large portion of Spratly Islands including the Reed Bank near Palawan and other parts of the West Philippine Sea that are now occupied by Beijing.

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Fisherfolk welcomes new name of ‘Benham Rise’, calls to strengthen our claim over the plateau

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Fisherfolk welcomes new name of ‘Benham Rise’, calls to strengthen our claim over 050112 Benham Rise 1the plateau

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) welcomes the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise as a way to exercise our claim over the 13-million hectare resource rich underwater ridge.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed the Executive Order No. 25 renaming the undersea feature.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said a welcome development to assert our rightful claim over the rise. The group urges President Duterte to fortify the protection of our territory from any foreign fishing fleets that exploit our waters and marine resources.

Whether it is named Benham Rise or Philippine Rise, as long as the government allows foreign commercial fishing vessels to enter our territory, we may not be able to fully utilize our water. What’s in a name when the Filipino fisherfolk are not the ones who benefit from the abundance of our marine territory,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Assert sovereign rights against China – Duterte urged

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Assert sovereign rights against China – Duterte urgedIMG_8316

Manila, Philippines – Responding from the news that China is gearing to build its first permanent structure in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipians (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) tells President Rodrigo Duterte to exude extra vigilance because this might result to the deprivation of the Filipino fishers and complete takeover of Bejing in Scarborough Shoal.

Scarborough Shoal is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone of which China has been posing its claim through the 9-dash line assumption. China has yet to give up its unjust claim over the Philippine territory despite the international arbitration’s ruling last year favoring the Philippines’ claim on the disputed West Philippine Sea. The environmental monitoring station to be situated on features of Beijing-controlled Paracel islands, according to a Chinese official is among their government’s top priorities for 2017.

The fisherfolk group fears that this might compromise the livelihood of the Filipino fishers who were already able to return to their traditional fishing grounds last year after President Duterte’s diplomatic talk with China.

We cherish the developments that our country and China have reached towards a diplomatic resolution of the dispute, but building permanent structure to strengthen their irrational claim and probably military presence in our territory is too much. Our cordial relation with China recently doesn’t mean that we have given up our claim on the disputed waters. We are always ready to defend our territory by all means,”

“China has no any legal, moral and political right to settle any permanent structure in the disputed waters. They must respect the international ruling and acknowledge that the West Philippine Sea rightfully belongs to the Filipino people,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA also warns China to back off from Benham Rise otherwise they will be subjected to chorus of criticisms from the international community have they plan to intrude on the 13-million hectare underwater resource-rich territory of the country. Presence of a Chinese vessel in Benham Rise has been monitored by a defense official last week.

We urge President Duterte to actively assert our sovereign rights against China and other foreign intruders. No one but the Filipino people has the right to utilize and maximize our marine resource. The administration must lead our nation in protecting and defending our sovereignty and not create a single breach that would make our territory out of our possession,” Hicap ended. ###

Trillanes in no position to speak for sovereignty – group

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Trillanes in no position to speak for sovereignty – group

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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

Manila, Philippines – “Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has no right to speak about defending our sovereignty because we believe that he himself has once compromised it that he has even yet to explain to the public,”

This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Thursday in response to the Magdalo Senator’s riding on the issue of Benham Rise to cover-up his anomalous visits to China during then-Aquino administration that led to the complete possession of Beijing to Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground of Filipino fishers and is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone. China has been posing its irrational claim on the shoal and has even built artificial island and military outpost. The complete occupation of China over Scarborough Shoal has resulted to the harassment and deprivation of Filipino fisherfolk of their livelihood.

Senator Trillanes has yet to answer on why his secret and numerous trips to China has led to the latter’s successful takeover of the Scarborough Shoal,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Hands off Benham Rise! – fisherfolk to China and other foreign vessels

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Hands off Benham Rise! – fisherfolk to China and other foreign vessels

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Benham Rise, located at the Eastern part of the country, opposite to the disputed South China Sea | photo by Rappler

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday scolded China for its attempt to occupy the Benham Rise, following its assertion that the Philippines cannot own the 13-million hectare resource-rich water despite the United Nations (U.N.) ruling on 2012.

A defense official last week has reported the presence of a Chinese vessel in Benham Rise, of which Beijing has immediately reacted saying it was just an “innocent passage”.

Benham Rise is located opposite to the disputed waters of South China Sea that has abundant marine resources particularly first-class tuna and untapped minerals and gas deposits.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said whatever China is planning in our territory, they must drop it off because like the West Philippine Sea which they have been posing their irrational claim, we will again prove that Benham Rise is politically and legally belongs to our country, not to any foreign nations.

They have been claiming and even built artificial islands in the Western part of our exclusive economic territory, they should abort whatever their goal is in our eastern part of the sea. Like the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise belongs to the Filipino people, it is part of our exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf as ruled by the international law,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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