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When has PH been a pit stop for Chinese military? Solon questions latest plane sighting

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By John Carlo Cahinhinan

A lawmaker on Sunday accused President Rodrigo Duterte of converting Davao International Airport into a “logistical hub” for the Chinese military.

Anakpawis Partylist Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao said that the repeated “refueling” stops made by a Chinese military cargo plane at the Fracisco Bangoy International Airport only shows that the Duterte Administration is actually “aiding” the People’s Republic of China to “snatched our territories in the West Philippine Sea.”

“Davao City is becoming a logistical hub for China, and part of their planes’ flight way points, amid non-existent treaty for a military cooperation,” said Casilao.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) military transport plane IL-76 landed in Davao City on June 8 and June 23 respectively.

“It is a military cargo plane, obviously it is used for Chinese interest,” said Casilao who added that the Asian super power’s nearest concern is the “fortification of control over the West Philippine Sea.

“It is outrageous that our country is directly or indirectly aiding them,” the lawmaker said.

Casilao insisted that the Filipino people have the right to know the purpose of that Chinese military plane in the region.

“Our country has the right and duty to deny the refueling if it is carrying out a mission detrimental to national interest.”

Casilao lamented that if these “refueling” stops become habitual, it would be transforming the country as a virtual logistical base though a senate-approved treaty is non-existent adding that the 1987 Constitution prohibits military bases or entry of troops in the country in the absence of a treaty.

“This is actually a piled up insult against the Filipino people with a government surrendering national sovereignty and patrimony, when local fishermen already faced their aggression and abuses, but in Davao City, their military units are welcomed with arms wide open,’ he said.

The militant solon said the Duterte administration can deny the refueling request of other countries if it is opposed to the Philippines’ interest.

“Denials of requests for refueling were done by other countries that believed it will be contrary to their interest, such as what Spain and Malta did to Russian warships in 2016 heading for Syria,” he said.