Benham Rise Ruckus by Erick San Juan
There is so much fuss on the Benham Rise issue that has actually created tensions even President Rodrigo Duterte himself has already said that there is an agreement between Beijing and Manila before his defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana came out with a statement that the Chinese ship was doing a survey in the area, translation – an incursion.
President Duterte said that the Chinese have no incursion because we have an agreement and that some people are just blowing it up. It was a research ship. We were advised of it way ahead. Unsolicited advice, Who are the “we” here Mr. President? Many netizens are asking. Because the people in your loop, in your cabinet seems at a lost on whatever that agreement was. We mentioned in our past article that foreign policy of the land should involve its people. The perception seems that the “independent” foreign policy that the President wants is also independent from the people – his constituents. And now the President’s detractors especially in the social media are attacking him due to this ‘decision’.
Even some solons were demanding the Palace on the content of the so called ‘agreement’ with China to do ‘research’ in Benham Rise.
Benham Rise is an underwater landmass 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon. In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.
Some pundits fear that like what happened in the South China Sea, the disputed areas before are now claimed by China and structures were already in place. And it’s not farfetched that because of the strategic location of the Benham Rise, China will use it as its listening post, possibly a place for its submarine and believed to be another entry point in grabbing Taiwan (Xi's China dream) in the process.
Pundits believe that PRRD allows such ‘incursion’ for economic reason because China is good in using ‘soft power’ to lure other leaders to kowtow to its whims. And unfortunately, our president is perceived being duped due to the billions of dollars loan given by China to help us improve our economy.
We want to help this administration that is why we all have to be vigilant and help our country against people who are taking advantage of our weakness as a nation, particularly our military.
We already given up some territories in the SCS and now this. Could it be that the alleged plan of China's Xi to make our country as its province is true together with Taiwan?
The recent news about what Taipei’s defense minister said recently that “China is aiming advanced medium-range ballistic missiles at Taiwan as part of a growing military threat towards the island is very alarming.
The announcement came after Taiwan said for the first time last week that it is capable of launching missiles at China as it warned of an increased invasion risk.
China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.
Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement.
The DF-16 (Dongfeng 16) is capable of precise strikes against Taiwan and has been deployed by the Rocket Force of the People’s Liberation Army, defense minister Feng Shih-kuan said.
Feng told lawmakers the development comes as China “strengthens its weaponry modernization and military hard power”.
He did not say how many missiles had been deployed or where.
Taiwan has said China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles — this is the first time the defense ministry identified the DF-16 as among them.
Beijing has severed all official communications with Taipei since Tsai became leader in May and has been accused of blocking the island’s political representatives from attending international events. (Source: AFP 3-20-2017)
We knew about this plan of China’s annexation of Luzon with Taiwan for so long and talked about it on our radio program and in writing. The possibilities are getting stronger as we witness the slow but sure way of encirclement of our territories by China using soft 'touch' operation.
Our nation’s patriots are urging PRRD not to let it happen under his term not in the future. God bless the Philippines.