Chinese research vessel docks in Davao City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said a Chinese research vessel has been allowed to dock in Davao City.

"We know about it. The Chinese ambassador wrote to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Alan) Cayetano that it would be docking in Davao to refurbish and it was allowed to do so," he said in a message.

Commander Jonathan Zata, Navy spokesperson, said the ship arrived in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown Monday night.

"They are here for a replenishment as granted by the diplomatic clearance issues by higher authorities. This is a routine ship visit similar to any other foreign ship wishing to call on our ports," he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said countries with cordial ties with the Philippines are free to dock at our ports. He said only those who are against the Chinese will have an issue with the docking of the Chinese research vessel.

"All ships from countries with whom the Philippines maintains friendly ties may dock at our ports. Chinese survey ships, just like US warships, may dock at our ports. Only those afflicted with Sinophobia will find the routine incident objectionable," he said in a statement.

Minority senators filed a resolution on July 8 seeking to probe the landing of Chinese military planes in Davao and to adopt measures that will strengthen national security.

Chinese military aircraft landed at the Davao International Airport on June 8 and 24.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the authors of Senate Resolution 779, on July 10 said the Philippines does not have an existing treaty with China that provided guidelines for aircraft landing.

Related: Minority senators seek probe on Chinese military aircraft landings

Hontiveros said the military was not informed prior to the landings. She added those were "personal favor granted by the President to China."