By Francis T. Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday that there is nothing unusual with the landing of a Chinese military plane in Davao City last June 8.
Lorenzana, speaking at the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, said the crew of the Ilyushing II-76 strategic airlifter coordinated with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines prior to landing at the Davao City International Airport to refuel while on its way to Australia from China.
“The explanation by our government is that the landing has coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. You know CAAP is the agency in charge with our airspace so they have coordination to land in Davao to refuel then go to Australia. Upon returning, it will refuel again, that is the agreement, so nothing unusual there,” Lorenzana said. “Even other countries they do that. The Americans also land here to refuel,” he added.
He noted that other countries can also refuel in the country as long as there is appropriate coordination.
Lorenzana said Philippine military planes can also refuel in other countries. “We can land in another country, refuel, but we will have to have prior coordination, that’s what they did,” Lorenzana said.