THE Chief Executive, obviously disappointed, ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the integrity and keep in top shape the military’s air assets to avoid another crash.
According to AFP chief Cirilito Sobejana, President Rodrigo Duterte told them to make sure that the C-130 crash in Sulu last Sunday would be the last crash involving a military aircraft.
At least 52 of the 93 individuals on board the plane were killed in the crash.
“Very clear po ang instruction ng ating Presidente, our air assets and other military equipment should be in good shape all the time, and you cannot afford to have similar incident in the future. That C-130 crash should be the last,” Sobejana said.
The order was given to Sobejana when Duterte visited the survivors and fatalities of the C-130 crash in Zamboanga City last Monday.
Interestingly, last Sunday’s crash was the third such incident involving a military aircraft this year. On January 16, a PAF UH-1H helicopter crashed near Bukidnon’s Barangay Bulonay, killing seven. On June 23, a brand-new S-70i Black Hawk Utility Helicopter figured in an accident off Capas, Tarlac, killing six.
Of the 52 fatalities in the C-130 crash, 49 were soldiers while three were civilians, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who has ordered a full investigation into the incident.
The C-130 belonging to the Philippine Air Force was about to land in Barangay Bangkal in Patikul, Sulu, on Sunday when it crashed at 11:30 a.m.