Duterte: I always tell China Benham is ours

President Duterte on Wednesday said he had told China that the Philippines would not give up Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea and Benham Rise in the Pacific.


But the President said it was not the “proper time” to give emphasis to the territorial disputes in the Spratlys as this could lead to open warfare that the Philippines “cannot sustain.”


“We just somehow ride it off. But there are things that I have to say. I even told China what’s ours there… We have been there since 1974,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.


“Our Pag-asa Island, I cannot give it up. Benham Rise, when they go there, I always tell them, ‘That is ours,…

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