Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pres. Aquino maintains the Philippines has freedom of aviation over West Ph Sea

President Benigno S. Aquino III has maintained that the country has freedom of aviation over the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea, despite last Wednesday’s (May 20) incident when the Chinese Navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane as it flew over the contested waters.

“We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” he said.

The President however pointed out that China has not declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the area.

President Aquino said that the country will nonetheless continue to exercise its rights over its exclusive economic zone.

“We have maritime awareness, we know what is happening, and we have a calculated response to all of these incidents that are happening. Bottom line is, it has to be clear, we will defend our rights to the best of our abilities,” he said.
According to reports, the Chinese Navy told the US aircraft to leave the area eight times as it flew over the artificial islands that China has been building in the disputed territory.

China claims sovereignty over most of the contested area but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims. (PCOO News Release)

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