Chinese plane only made refueling stop in PH: SAP Go

MANILA — The Chinese military aircraft, which landed in the Philippines, only made a refueling stop, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go clarified Sunday.

“The request for landing was received, processed and cleared by relevant Philippine Government agencies,” Go said in a statement Sunday.

The presidential top aide made this reaction after photos of Chinese military transport plane IL-176 landing at Davao City International Airport circulated on social media last week.

“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 said.

Go said such “technical stops” by foreign government and commercial planes, including those for refueling purposes, are closely coordinated by relevant government agencies, following domestic procedure and in consideration of existing agreements.

He added that the same courtesy is extended to Philippine government aircrafts when technical stops need to be undertaken.

Go confirmed that the requesting party is in coordination with the Department of National Defense (DFA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

“The DND, DFA and CAAP – and other relevant agencies – work together to ensure that requesting parties comply with our domestic procedures and requirements.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also confirmed the landing of the military aircraft in Davao City, citing report by the CAAP.

“As verified and reported by CAAP, no movement of passengers was made outside the terminal building. 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,” Roque said. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora with reports from Jelly Musico/