Imee questions ‘covert’ US military flights in PH      | Inquirer News

Imee questions ‘covert’ US military flights in PH     

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:20 AM July 10, 2023

Imee Marcos —SENATE PRIB

Imee Marcos —SENATE PRIB

The government should come clean on the arrival in the country of more air assets of the United States, Sen. Imee Marcos said on Sunday as she surmised that the worsening situation in the South China Sea was due to what she described as “covert” flights of US military planes in the Philippines.

The US Embassy clarified that the flights were part of bilateral military exercises and were authorized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, but the flights were not cleared with airport authorities ostensibly because of “clerical errors.”


As chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, Marcos has been harping on the issue, which she linked to the government plan to host Afghan refugees, since last month. On June 8, she filed a resolution seeking a Senate probe.


While she acknowledged the current military exercises involving American and Filipino soldiers, President Marcos’ sister said the government should be equally vigilant in protecting the country’s skies from foreign entities the way it had been speaking out against Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

Last week, the senator filed another resolution seeking an inquiry into the allegedly unauthorized landing of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the US Air Force at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on June 26.

“Too little is known about ongoing US military activity in our territory while we constantly call out the presence of Chinese vessels in the South China Sea,” Marcos said in a statement.

“[T]he same zeal in tracking any violations in our maritime territory and EEZ (exclusive economic zone) must also apply where Philippine air traffic rules and joint military agreements with the US are concerned,” she stressed.

Marcos also urged defense and security officials to look into the possibility that “covert US military flights aggravated the already tense situation in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.”

She also asked them to “weigh the risks to public safety” of the presence of US military planes in the country.


Citing information from international flight tracker AirNav Systems, the senator said a Boeing C-17 Globemaster plane, with flight code MC244/RCH244, arrived in Manila at 6:03 a.m. on July 7. Earlier, Marcos also complained about the arrival of another military cargo plane on June 26. INQ


Senate to seek inquiry into ‘unadvised’ landing of US military aircraft at Naia

Coordination lapse, clerical error behind NAIA landing of US military aircraft — Sen. Marcos

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TAGS: bilateral, Imee Marcos, NAIA, South China Sea, United States

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