Minority senators eye probe into Chinese plane landing in Davao


Posted at Jun 12 2018 06:18 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2018 06:19 PM

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MANILA - Opposition senators plan to file a resolution to seek an investigation into the landing of a Chinese military plane in Davao City, Senator Antonio Trillanes said Tuesday.

The aircraft landing in the southern city was "wrong in so many levels," said Trillanes, as he questioned why of all the airports in the city, the plane had to refuel in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Hopefully, there is a line to their (the Senate's) friendliness to this administration. When it comes to our national interest, our national security, they should at least give it a chance to be investigated," he told ANC's Headstart.

Trillanes, a former Navy officer, said the information about the Chinese military jet came from a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and further information indicated that "this is not the first time such a plane landed in Davao City" because a similar one was spotted there "a few weeks before."

He also branded as a "lie" the government's claim that the plane was in Davao to refuel, noting that it was a cargo aircraft.

"Where will this plane go from Davao or where did it come from, except that Davao was the ultimate destination?" he said.

"We’re trying to speculate what really went down. The fact that it’s a cargo plane, most probably they unloaded some precious cargo. We’re trying to verify on the ground what was unloaded," he added.

Photos of the military plane supposedly landing last week at the Davao City International Airport circulated on social media last Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday confirmed the aircraft, supposedly bound for Australia, was in the Philippines to refuel, with the government's permission.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, a spokesperson for the military, said it had no other information about the plane except that it was here for "refurbishment," and it was "perfectly a legal reason to land in our airports."