US Navy drone in Quezon probed

President Benigno Aquino III has asked the Department of National Defense to investigate the aerial target drone of the United States Navy that was recovered in Quezon province on Sunday.

“We are aware of what has been reported and the DND is making its own inquiry into this matter,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.

“We will await the report of the DND. Authorities are conducting the probe to seek an explanation on this,” Coloma said.

The BQM-74E drone with serial number BQ55079 bore the markings of the US Navy.

Policemen from the Patnanungan Municipal Police Station have taken custody of the drone.

A similar drone, which the US embassy said was unarmed and was not used for surveillance, was recovered off the coast of Masbate in 2013.

“This is not the first time that a US spy plane has been spotted on Philippine territory. The last time I checked, the Philippines is not part of US territory, yet the US military is acting as if we’ve already been annexed to the US,” Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said.

He said the drone’s presence “may constitute serious breaches in both local and international laws.”

“Even citing the Visiting Forces Agreement as justification would be a stretch,” Ridon said.

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