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AFP: No reason to worry over US drones turning up in PHL territory


The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday said that US military drones turning up in different parts of the country are no cause for alarm.
 
According to AFP Spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, the drones found were only target drones that do not pose a threat.
 
“Ibig sabihin ng target drones, ito 'yung mga ginagamit na target practice sa training at karamihan dyan ay ginamit ng Estados Unidos sa may lugar ng Guam na kung saan may exercises silang ginaganap para magkaroon ng kaunting reyalismo yung kanilang training,” Padilla explained.

PNP personnel in Quezon Province pose beside a recovered aerial target drone. The drone, bearing serial number BQ55079 and marked US Navy, was recovered by Patnanungan PNP on Sunday, Jan 4, 2015. The police took custody of the unarmed drone. (GMA News Stringer Hero Peewee Bacuño)
 
He then said that since most of these drones were disposable, it meant that some may have not been recovered after use.
 
“Karamihan nito ay tinangay lang ng agos ng tubig na nagmula sa may lugar ng Guam, tulad ng sabi ko kanina, napadpad 'yun sa mga shores natin kasi ganun ang takbo ng current mula sa may Pasipiko papunta sa Pilipinas,” Padilla said.
 
He also urged anyone who finds a drone to surrender these to authorities so they can track down which country it came from and alert the appropriate diplomatic mission.
 
Earlier this week, three fishermen recovered a drone off Cagayan while fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
 
On Jan. 4, the local police of Quezon province also recovered a drone owned and operated by the US Navy.
 
A similar drone was recovered off the coast of Masbate province by San Jacinto town police in 2013.
 
The US Embassy said previously that the drone was unarmed and not used to conduct surveillance.

Despite this, Bayan Muna party-list, which opposes the presence of US military assets in the Philippines, said earlier this month that the drones are "yet another proof of the US disregard of Philippine sovereignty." 
 
"Truth is, the US government, in the pursuit of its own self-serving interest, does not respect nor take into consideration the interest of other nations, allies or not, the Philippines included," Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a statement. — Andrei Medina/JDS, GMA News

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