Philippines President Benigno Aquino brushed off media claims that Manila has sought United States assistance in monitoring the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
Talking to reporters, the president said, Philippines has its own aircraft and ships to monitor the disputed territory.
Analyzing how the rumor could have come up, Aquino said that he had only said once that Manila might seek the U.S. help, if needed, during an interview with a foreign news agency earlier this week.
"If you will go through the transcript of the interview, I said 'We might' (ask for US help). That is where (the interviewers) suddenly introduced the supposed request for overflights, which wasn't what I stated," the president said.
"Let us correct that. America is a treaty ally. Where we are lacking in capacity, I think we can go to them and ask that they increase (our) situational awareness," Aquino said on Thursday.
A slight rumor, however, caused rift with China, which did not hesitate in warning the Philippines against any provocation.
The Philippines and China have been at odds since April this year when China prevented the Philippines Navy from arresting encroaching Chinese fishermen on an area, which Manila claims part of its territory.
Meanwhile, the Philippines protested against Chinese new prefecture called "Sansha", establishment of which is aimed at administering disputed territories in the South China Sea. Talking to reporters while awaiting China's response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Raul Hernandez said the establishment of prefecture has violated Manila's claim to the Scarborough Shoal and other parts in the South China Sea.
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