US embassy says drone recovered in Masbate waters not used for surveillance



MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US)-made unmanned aerial vehicle recovered in Philippine waters early Sunday morning is of the type that is “not armed and not used for surveillance,” the country’s embassy in Manila said Monday.

In a statement, Tina Malone, spokesperson of the US embassy in Manila, said that the embassy was aware of reports that an apparently US-made unmanned aerial vehicle was recovered in the waters off Masbate this weekend and that the recovered vehicle “appears to be of the sort that is used as an air defense target in training exercises.”

“This type of vehicle is not armed and not used for surveillance. We are trying to confirm this interpretation and to determine how and when it may have landed in the sea,” Malone said in a text message.

Earlier reports had noted that Senior Superintendent Heriberto Olitoquit, Masbate police chief, said that the 4-meter US-made drone was seen drifting in the sea waters off Sitio (sub-village) Tacdugan in Barangay (village) Bagahanglad in San Jacinto town by fishermen Jolly Llacer and Ricky Cantoria.

Olitoquit was quoted as saying that the two fishermen dragged the drone to the shoreline of San Jacinto without knowing what it was. Olitoquit had also described the aerial vehicle as having a wingspan of 1.76 meters and a height of about .71 meter.

Reports had noted that operatives from the Philippine National Police in Masbate province have inspected and secured the object but there was no information yet as to who owned the drone and why it fell into the waters off Masbate.

Meanwhile, the military is clueless on the presence of the drone in the area.

“Hindi ko alam kung bakit nandun yun (I don’t know why it was found there). We cannot even confirm kung kelan pa sya nandun (how long it has been there), it could have been there several days ago. We cannot confirm that,” Navy spokesman Colonel Omar Tonsay told reporters.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • junsepara

    ayos lang pag US drones, wag lang tsekwa  drones!!!!

  • Marcos5

    It was from the U.S./Philippine joint  Balikatan 2012 target drone for practice against Chinese communist invasion.

    In the meantime PRC fishing and military vessels blatantly pillaging Corals and Marine life inside Philippine Territory.  

  • akoombulator

    ano pa hinihintay natin tayo na lang ang bansa sa asya na gumagamit pa rin ng 8 1/2 x 11 na papel magpalipad din tayo ng sang damukal na mga drones

  • PurpleDaisy13

    This Aerial Target Drone is used for target practice by our US Military.
    It is not used for surveillance and does not carry offensive weaponry capabilities.

    The Philippines have nothing to be concerned about regarding this incident.  Unless certain Filipinos are paranoid and believe our US Drones are being paid by and used on behalf of China to spy on the Philippines. If so, then terminate the VFA including the MDT and you will never see our US Drone on your Philippine shores again.

  • Joe Kano

    Since the thing is bright orange and not equipped with cameras, I’d say it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t conducting surveillance….
    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • doublecross

    survey of what…??????????

  • Cadiz

    Anyone who sees the pics of the drone would know that it is a target drone.  It has no cameras and is painted bright orange so it can be seen easily. It was floating in the water so who knows how far away it was used at? I know our rabble rousers will immediately start shouting over their megaphones about ‘violations’ and ‘bad bad VFA’ but it only makes us look ridiculous.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos