MANILA-- Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said there is nothing irregular with the Chinese military plane landing in Davao City last June 8, after it raised questions from the public and lawmakers.
"It's nothing irregular, there's nothing fishy about it, it's something that countries do with each others," Cayetano said in a CNN Philippines interview, referring to plane landings provided protocols are followed.
He pointed out there are more than a hundred similar requests coming from other countries to the Philippines every year.
"Hindi lang tayo sanay na mayroong Chinese plane na nagla-landing, 243 of this kind of applications from United States planes were granted, 33 from Korean planes, and marami pa sa iba, so far only two or three sa Chinese planes, but all of these dumaan sa proper channels including the military," he said.
(We're not just used that there's a Chinese plane landing (in the Philippines), 243 of this kind of applications from United States planes were granted, 33 from Korean planes, and there are a lot more from others, so far only two or three were Chinese planes, but all of these have gone through proper channels including the military.)
"Normal ito, may proseso at may clearances from the military (This is normal. There is a procedure and clearances from the military)," he added.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go initially confirmed that a People's Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin-76 turbofan strategic airlifter landed in Davao City, but only for a technical stop.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier admitted he had no prior knowledge of the plane's landing but later dismissed there was nothing unusual with it.
Cayetano, for his part, defended Lorenzana, saying the procedure is already a routine, and such requests now usually fall under the assistant secretaries or concerned generals.
"You have about 300 to 500 applications in a year at least, it goes to our assistant secretaries or to certain generals then we'll just sign," he said. "Dati naman kasi walang isyu." (Back then it was a non-issue.) (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency