President Duterte will not stop riding helicopters—Sec. Panelo

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The helicopter  crash on Thursday morning, where Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief P/Gen. Archie Gamboa and other ranking police officials  were on board, will not stop President Rodrigo Duterte from riding  a helicopter for  travel.

“You know naman si President eh. The President always says ‘if it’s my time, it’s my time.’ (He’s) fatalistic eh,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said during  a Palace briefing in Malacañang.

Gamboa was on board a helicopter, along with PNP spokesperson B/Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP comptrollership chief M/Gen. Jovic Ramos, PNP intelligence director M/Gen. Mariel Magaway, pilot Lt. Col. Zalatar, co-pilot Lt. Col. Macawili, Senior Master Sergeant Estona, helicopter crew, and Capt. Gayramara, Gamboa’s aide, when the aircraft crashed minutes after it lifted off past 8 a.m.

All the passengers survived the crash and were rushed to a local hospital.

Duterte will “most likely” visit the injured police officers, Panelo said as he urged the public to refrain from making speculations on the circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash.

“Initial accounts reveal that the mishap was caused by the helicopter getting in contact with a high-tension wire due to poor visibility. With this, we ask the public to refrain from making speculations relative to the circumstances as we wait for the official results of the probe on the incident,” Panelo said.

According to Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, the helicopter carrying Gamboa and the police officials is “brand new” and was procured during his time as PNP chief.

Gamboa was transferred from a Laguna hospital to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City while two police generals, Magaway and Ramos, where unconscious and in critical condition./Stacy Ang

 

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