TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Chief of Staff for the Philippine military was quoted as saying that Philippine aircraft and ships are regularly harassed by Chinese forces during routine patrols in the South China Sea.
Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said Chinese radio dispatchers warn AFP aircraft on a daily basis. He said that is has become almost routine, and if there are three flights in a day, there will be three warnings that day.
Galvez said that AFP forces are accustomed to responding to the messages, but ignoring their commands, and always continue on the predetermined patrol route without further interference.
GMA News reports that a BBC crew on board a U.S. aircraft recently recorded a Chinese radio warning directed at a Philippine jet.
The warning message was "Philippine military aircraft! I'm warning you again. Leave immediately or you will bear responsibility for all the consequences!"
On Monday Aug. 12, in response to questions over Philippine territory in the South China Sea, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. took a tough stance towards China saying “They will not stop us. We will continue with our flights. We will assert our sovereignty. And if need be, Filipino pilots will die for our sovereignty.”
Roque Jr. also said that an investigation would be conducted into the most recent incident of an AFP pilot being threatened by the Chinese. “We are asserting our sovereignty. We conducted the flight over our islands,” he was quoted by Business World.