MANILA, Philippines – The military on Friday said it has deployed planes to conduct a reconnaissance mission over the disputed Scarborough Shoal.
"We are doing that…We are flying over there, that's ours," Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed Friday.
An Air Force official said Philippine planes are taking pictures of the shoal amid reports that Chinese vessels have not left the area.
President Aquino earlier said the government is ready to redeploy ships at the shoal to counter the possible presence of foreign vessels.
China has claimed ownership of Scarborough Shoal, which is within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The shoal is about 750 miles from China’s nearest point in Hainan.