Teodoro: US aircraft seen during resupply mission not part of PH operation

By JOVILAND RITA, GMA Integrated News

Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. on Friday said the US Navy aircraft seen during the latest resupply mission of the Philippines to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal was conducting freedom of navigation operations on their own.

In a press conference, Teodoro was asked about the role of the US Navy Poseidon that was supposedly photographed during the follow-up resupply mission on August 22.

“In the role of the United States in those resupplies, they were providing freedom of navigation, they were conducting freedom of navigation operations on their own uncoordinated with us, which they do on a regular basis anyway,” Teodoro said.

“Well, they (US) might have coordinated it. But that's below my level of coordination if ever,” he added.

On August 22, the Philippines had to conduct a follow-up mission as only one of the two resupply boats was able to deliver items to BRP Sierra Madre after Chinese vessels performed dangerous maneuvers and used water cannons against Philippine vessels last August 5.

Beijing claimed that the Philippine ships intruded into the Ayungin Shoal and violated their laws when it conducted the supply mission.


Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Ayungin is part of the Philippines' 200-nautical mile EEZ.

In July 2016, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, based on a case filed by the Philippines, junked China's nine-dash line claim covering the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. China has refused to acknowledge the ruling.

The United States backed the Philippines over the incident, saying that it directly threatens the peace and stability in the region.

It reaffirmed that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces would invoke mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty of the Philippines and US. —VAL, GMA Integrated News