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Nothing fishy on Chinese military plane landing in Davao – Cayetano

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday assured that there is nothing irregular about 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 other,” Cayetano said in a CNN Philippines interview, noting there are more than a hundred similar requests to the Philippines coming from other countries every year.

“We’re not just used to it, 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,” Cayetano said.

“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 it saying 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.

“Back then it was a non-issue,” he added.

Senator Antonio Trillanes said on Tuesday opposition senators plan to file a resolution to seek an investigation into the landing of a Chinese military plane in Davao City.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed on Sunday the aircraft, supposedly bound for Australia, got permission from the government to refuel in the country.#