In this June 1, 2017 photo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana holds a press briefing at Malacañang.
Presidential Photo, File
Nothing unusual with landing of Chinese military plane in Davao — Lorenzana
( - June 11, 2018 - 11:15am

MANILA, Philippines — Echoing Malacañang's pronouncements, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said there was "nothing unusual" with the landing of a Chinese military aircraft in Davao City.

Photos of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force IL-76 military transport plane at the Davao International Airport circulated online over the weekend.

The Chinese military transport plane speculated to patrol the South China Sea reportedly refueled at the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lorenzana reiterated there was prior coordination with local aviation authorities when the Chinese military aircraft landed in Davao City to refuel, according to a report from radio dzMM.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the Chinese aircraft made a technical stop in the country before heading back to China from Australia.

“The same courtesy is extended to Philippine government aircraft when technical stops need to be undertaken in other countries,” Roque said.

The IL-76 military transport plane cannot fly more than 3,000 kilometers without refueling if carrying a full load. The aircraft is designed for tactical and strategic airlift missions, transport of troops and evacuation.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, stressed that Duterte never ordered the halt of the military's patrols in the West Philippine Sea.

Citing military sources, Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano earlier claimed that the Duterte administration ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to stop patrolling the disputed waterway.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had denied Alejano's claims, which he called "fake news."

"What's coming out of the respected congressman's mouth is fake news and it isn't helping," Cayetano said in Filipino. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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