The unchallenged passage of the USS Lassen, an American guided-missile destroyer, in the
South China Sea
shows freedom of navigation and flight still exists in the said area.
This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez Wednesday.
"Freedom of navigation and flight is still secure in that part of the region," he said, adding that passage was made in international waters.
News reports earlier claimed that the USS Lassen made a passage 12 nautical miles off Chinese artificial islands in the
, albeit shadowed by two Chinese
warships. Spratly Islands
DND public affairs service chief Arsenio Andolong made a similar statement Tuesday.
(It is international waters), so any vessel (could) exercise freedom of navigation. That's all we have to say about it," he added.