MANILA — The Philippines is not aware of any US naval activities in the South China Sea.
This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when sought for a comment after China cried foul after the guided missile destroyer USS Hopper came within 12 miles of Huangyan Island, also known as Scarborough Shoal, on Wednesday night.
The territory is being claimed by China and the Philippines.
China claimed that they ordered the ship to withdraw after determining its identity.
“Wala naman tayong say sa anumang gagawin ng Amerikano sa South China Sea. They do not inform us beforehand of their activities there,” Lorenzana said.
Also, the DND chief said that the passage of the US warhip was not a cause of concern.
“No, for as long as they are on innocent passage. international law allows innocent passage even in territorial waters,” he said.