Senator-elect Francis Tolentino announced during Davao City’s celebration of the 121st Philippine Independence Day at the Rizal Park his plans to propose an additional star on the Philippine flag. He declared: “I propose a fourth star to reflect the Benham Rise, the future Philippines, the future land for the next generation of Filipinos.”
This is in line with the Philippine government’s continued efforts to assert its claim over Benham Rise, an island group located at the Northeastern side of the country in the Pacific Ocean. The United Nations had already approved the Philippines’ territorial claim over the area by virtue of the UN Convention on the Law (UNCLOS) in 2012. This was reaffirmed by The Hague Tribunal’s South China Sea Ruling in 2016.
However, Tolentino disclaimed that the proposal must first pass consultations with various historical agencies such as the National Historical Commission. Following that, the proper legislation must be drafted. Additionally, Tolentino promised that the legislative arm of the government would continue to “monitor the diplomatic actions of the government to win its territorial claim.”
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