MANILA, PHILIPPINES—US is now all-hands to closely monitoring activities in the disputed sea viewed as help to the Philippine defense against possible military assaults from other claimants.
This has been confirmed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which also stated that unmanned US Navy surveillance planes are conducting patrols in the contested West Philippine Sea.
“US drones fly over Philippine waters during joint military exercises with the United States,” said DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez.
He noted that the joint military exercises use P3C Orion aircraft aimed to upgrade skills of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
This is in consonance to the earlier disclosure of President Benigno S. Aquino III that Manila was seeking US deployment of P3C Orion spy planes over the disputed territory.
The P3C Orion is described as the most sensitive planes in the US fleet. It is an anti-submarine aircraft that intercept communications.
Hernandez added that the Philippines has to maximize all resources to monitor the situation in the country’s seas.
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile however said that there is nothing wrong with the US move to deploy Navy spy drones in the said sea since they are a superpower.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has not yet given comments to this move after declining the peaceful endeavor to settle the territorial conflict.
Ram Idelbert A. Hilario
Leyte Normal University