PAL union urges senators to allow testimony on Corona perksBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The ground crew union of Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Thursday urged senators to reconsider the decision to stop the testimony on the privileges Chief Justice Renato Corona allegedly received from the flag carrier.
The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) said the testimony of Enrique Javier, PAL vice president for sales, was relevant to Article 3 of the impeachment complaint against Corona, who was said to have received a platinum card from the airline.
“The platinum card is directly related to the Pilato-num decision of the Supreme Court on the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association (Fasap) case,” said Gerry Rivera, Palea president.
“We call on any of the senators who does not have a platinum card in his or her wallet to stand up for truth and move that PAL testify regarding the privileges given to CJ Corona and his wife,” Rivera added.
‘Unlimited courtesy travel’
The benefits for a platinum card holder supposedly include “unlimited courtesy travel” on PAL and PAL Express flights on the “highest class of service.”
Applicable taxes, fees, fuel and insurance surcharges are waived, and holders of the card are given free baggage allowance of four pieces at 23 kilos per piece on trans-Pacific flights to the United States and Canada, 60 kilos on other international and domestic flights, and 20 kilos on PAL Express flights.
The card holder also has access to all Mabuhay Lounges worldwide, and can also bring four of his travel companions to use the lounge.
‘Friends of the boss’
“Within PAL, it is said that only those who are FOBs or friends of the boss receive a platinum card as a gift,” Rivera said.
Palea had already challenged PAL officials to appear at the impeachment trial after Fasap president Roberto Anduiza accused Corona of influencing the Supreme Court to flip-flop on their case.
Palea also defended its lawyer, Marlon Manuel, for appearing as a private prosecutor in the trial.
Rivera clarified that Palea had no “axe to grind” and “vested interest” in ousting Corona since the union’s case against PAL’s outsourcing plan was pending at the Court of Appeals, not the Supreme Court.
“Representative Danilo Suarez should get his facts right before he speaks. He might be accused of being one of the government officials given platinum cards, as defense lawyers have declared,” Rivera said.