The government has cleared a Chinese military aircraft to land in the country for refueling, a Palace official said yesterday.
President Duterte’s assistant Christopher Go confirmed that the foreign airplane was recently allowed to make the technical stop with certain conditions for compliance by the concerned party.
“There are reports from social media showing Chinese government plane landing in the Philippines. The request for landing was received, processed, and cleared by relevant Philippine government agencies,” Go said in a statement. “The landing was requested for the specific purpose of refueling and was granted and given with specific conditions for compliance by the requesting party,” he added.
Go issued the statement after photos of a Chinese military plane landing at the Davao City International Airport circulated on social media. The foreign aircraft reportedly made the technical stop in the country last week.
He assured that such technical stops of government and commercial planes are closely coordinated by government agencies, citing “established domestic procedure and in consideration of existing agreements.”
“The same courtesy is extended to Philippine government aircrafts when technical stops need to be undertaken,” he said.
He said the Department of National Defense, Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and other agencies are working together “to ensure that requesting parties comply with our domestic procedures and requirements.”
There was no movement of personnel outside the Davao airport terminal when the airplane made a refueling stop, Malacañang added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the aircraft which was on its way to Cairns, Australia was allowed to make a technical stop by concerned government agencies after following certain protocols.
“As verified and reported by the CAAP, no movement of passengers was made outside the terminal building,” Roque said. “The Chinese aircraft used a local handler, Transnational Aviation Support Service, to arrange the requirements for the permit. The flight was given an entry and exit permit, like any other private flights,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)