Former National Security Council senior consultant Ashley Acedillo explained the importance of Benham Rise to the Philippines.
According to Acedillo, scientists have identified Benham Rise as an area rich in minerals used for the manufacture of high technology components. The area is also rich in oil and natural gas.
"So from a purely economic standpoint, this is a big potential gain for us, but at the same time, there are also security implications to that, because if we're looking at a country that has no business or no right to be doing what it did, I'm telling you, I simply do not buy the excuse of China that it was merely exercising the right of innocent passage," Acedillo explained.
The Philippine government asserted its right to Benham Rise on Tuesday, following China's claim that Manila cannot declare the resource-rich water way as its territory despite a 2012 United Nations ruling.