No truth to report that PHL plane downed by Chinese ship — AFP

By , on April 25, 2015


This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea.  The series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size. Beijing on April 9 reaffirmed its right to build on the disputed islands after the satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in the area. (AFP Photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)
This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. The series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size. Beijing on April 9 reaffirmed its right to build on the disputed islands after the satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in the area. (AFP Photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday denied reports that one of its planes was downed by a Chinese ship while flying to Pagasa Island.

“We strongly deny that any of our military planes was fired upon by a Chinese vessel while flying to Pag-asa Island to pick a patient. Firing incident in the West Philippine Sea is a serious matter that must not be subject to malicious rumors,” said AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc.

“We confirm that Western Command (WESCOM) was requested and scheduled to pick up a patient named Chito Pastor using Nomad plane from Pagasa Island today (Thursday), however, they were not able to provide air assets due to technical problems,” he noted.

Instead, WESCOM allowed the relatives of the patient to send a Piper 30 civilian plane to evacuate the patient to Puerto Princesa City at 1 p.m. Thursday, Cabunoc stressed.