Manila, Philippines – Xiao Xin Yi Dian [Be a little careful].
This was Malacanang’s response to a report in China Daily allegedly accusing the Philippines on creating tensions anew in the West Philippine Sea following President Aquino’s pronouncement that the Philippines might tap the assistance of a US spy plane to monitor its territory.
“Xiao Xin Yi Dian. Be a little careful about your statements,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing yesterday, noting that President Aquino’s statement should not be viewed by China provocatively.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said the use of spy planes is “seriously considered” but stressed that it should not be looked into as a provocative action.
“In context of all other things we’re doing I would think that it would be something seriously considered,” he said. “This is just monitoring, this is not deployment of any forces, this is not positioning, it’s simply just being able to watch over what’s happening in our territory.”
“Nobody feels Coast Watch as provocative, then they should not view this as provocative either. We are merely exercising our sovereign right to monitor and watch over our territory so any sovereign country would do that and I don’t think a country will begrudge us for doing that,” Carandang explained.
“This is not a provocative action, there is no aggressive intent here but every country has a right to monitor their territory and to do whatever means it feels is necessary,” he added.
President Aquino had said the Philippines is mulling to ask the help of the US by sending US spy plane US P3C Orion to monitor over Philippine territory, noting that the Philippines has limited capability. (Madel R. Sabater)