MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is temporarily suspending its search operation for the missing Malaysian passenger plane after teams have covered the country's maritime domain.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the AFP arrived at the decision after search teams deployed by the Western Command (Wescom) to the West Philippine Sea had not found a single clue on the missing MH370 plane.
He said the search and rescue operation would immediately resume once new indicators on the possible presence of the plane in the country’s territory are obtained.
The missing jetliner with 239 passengers mysteriously disappeared from the radar screen while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur last week, triggering initial speculations that it could have gone down in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea.
Responding to emergency report from the Malaysian military, the AFP leadership deployed several of its islander planes and a C-130 cargo plane to help search for the missing Malaysian plane in the West Philippine Sea.