US says crashed drone drifted into Philippine sea

The United States confirmed Tuesday that it owned a drone found in Philippine waters, but said the craft only drifted into Filipino territory after crashing at sea four months ago.

The "unarmed target drone" was deployed from the guided missile destroyer USS Chafee in war games off the coast of Guam in September last year, the US embassy in Manila said in a statement.

"It appears the ocean currents brought the drone to where it washed ashore last week off Masbate island," it said.

Fishermen found the drone drifting just off the coast of the island in central Philippines, about 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles) from Guam, at the weekend.

President Benigno Aquino had previously said US drones are allowed to conduct reconnaissance missions in the Philippines as part of efforts to contain a range of security threats.

The Philippine military has said drones are used during annual joint military exercises with the US in its waters, while some 600 US forces have been in the southern Philippines since 2002 to help train local troops to deal with Islamic militants.

Nevertheless the discovery of the drone stirred controversy in the Philippines, prompting local authorities to insist the machine was not being used for spying or to fire weapons at targets.

"It is not a spy plane. It is unarmed. It is used by the US Navy in its training," Philippine military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos told AFP.

The Philippine department of foreign affairs released a similar statement, although qualifying it by emphasising its comments were based on assurances from the US government.

"At this point, we have been assured by the US Embassy that the reported aerial vehicle is by design and purpose solely used for target practice and not armed or used for surveillance," the statement said.

Renato Reyes, secretary-general of leftist political group New Patriotic Alliance, alleged the drone was proof the United States -- a former colonial ruler of the Philippines -- was violating Filipino sovereignty.

"No sovereign nation would allow a foreign power unhampered use of domestic airspace," Reyes said in a statement.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Appeal for convicted Pinay in Indonesia continues – Palace

    The Aquino government is doing everything possible to save a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, a Palace official said yesterday.Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government was moving within Indonesia’s legal framework to spare Mary Jane Veloso from death.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario continues to exhaust all legal avenues to save Veloso from execution, Valte said.The Indonesian Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the government’s …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Bulacan, Bataan are top Lenten destinations

    MALOLOS, Bulacan – With the expected Holy Week exodus of Catholic devotees to various pilgrimage sites in Bulacan, Bataan and other provinces near Metro Manila, local and provincial officials have coordinated with security and emergency response teams to address the influx of visitors.Among the pilgrimage sites in Bulacan that are often visited by travelers are the Divine Mercy Shrine in the town of Marilao; the procession of saints in Baliwag; the Banal na Bundok with the Stations of the Cross …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options