Unidentified aircraft seen flying over Pag-asa island
Jaime Laude (Associated Press) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – An unidentified aircraft was seen flying over military positions on Pag-asa island in the Spratlys archipelago early this week, according to villagers in Kalayaan town.

The unidentified aircraft’s buzzing over Pag-asa island was monitored by Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon  Jr. while in the island town on Monday.

“I heard a very loud sound… a plane’s engine,”  Bito-onon said.

Early this week, youth volunteers who held a protest on Pag-asa island against China’s occupation of the country’s maritime domain in the Spratlys, reported that a Chinese Coast Guard patrol helicopter was seen flying near the coastal area of the island town.

There has been a significant increase in air activities in the area since the start of the year.

A senior military official, who asked not be named, confirmed that an unidentified aircraft had flown near a military area on the island recently.

“We have reports about that,” he said, but declined to give details.

The area is being claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The flight of an unidentified aircraft near Pag-asa coincided with the touchdown of a Chinese civilian aircraft at the newly constructed airfield Beijing constructed over its man-made island in the Philippines’ Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef.

Vietnam deployed its Kilo-class submarines in protest of Beijing’s continuing aggressive moves in the disputed area.

Meanwhile, Navy chief Vice Admiral Ceasar Taccad assured the public that Philippine-occupied areas in the disputed area remain intact, adding the military is protecting them.

 “The Navy is doing its job to protect it,” Taccad said. “The operations in the area are dictated by the requirements of Wescom (Western Command).”

ACIRC AREA BEIJING CHINESE COAST GUARD FIERY CROSS ISLAND KALAYAAN MAYOR EUGENIO BITO PAG SPRATLYS TAIWAN AND THE PHILIPPINES VICE ADMIRAL CEASAR TACCAD
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