By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has expressed concern over the reported presence of a Chinese ship at Benham Rise, which is part of the country's exclusive economic zone.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier revealed that Chinese survey ships have conducted oceanographic research at Recto or Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea and at Benham Rise in the Pacific.
"We are concerned about the presence of a Chinese ship in Benham Rise, which has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the Philippines," Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Abella said that the Department of National Defense has notified the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding this development as the government continues to assert sovereignty over the country's territory.
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