MANILA – Department of Defense (DND) officials on Tuesday said there was no violation when a plane from the United States Navy observed the latest resupply mission of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal last Friday.
Attending before the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense on West Philippines Seas (WPS), DND Undersecretary Ignacio Madriaga, said the plane was unarmed and they coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and flew within the Philippine territory.
Asked if the plane contributed to the success of the mission, Madriaga told Senator Jinggoy Estrada, chairperson of the panel, that the mission was successful because of the bravery and expertise shown by the officers and men of the PCG.
“Naging successful dahil po sa katapangan, kagalingan ng coast guard. Ang US plane ay nanood lang sa pangyayari (It was successful because of the bravery, courage, and skill of the coast guard. The US plane just watched the incident)," Madriaga said.
Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri noted the bravery of the PCG as he assured DND officials that under his leadership they will make sure that additional funds will be given to them,
“The Senate is one and united that they will assist for funding. You (DND) are doing your job, we will do our job. In proper time, we will talk and get your wish list, we are in one to support you,” he said. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)