Aquino party makes emergency landing on SCTEX due to heavy rainsBy TJ Burgonio, Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rain and poor visibility forced President Benigno Aquino III and his official party to make an emergency landing Friday morning while they were flying to Tarlac aboard five helicopters to look into the condition of people displaced by widespred flooding induced by heavy monsoon rains.
The three military and two civilian helicopters flying the President, members of his Cabinet and some of his party’s prospective senatorial candidates in next year’s elections to Tarlac made an “unscheduled landing’’ at around 9 a.m. at the Luisita exit of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, officials said.
“The President is fine; everyone is fine,” Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said by phone.
“While we were in Tarlac, it started to rain and the visibility became poor. The pilots made a decision to land.”
“The President is okay,” said Assistant Secretary Rey Marfil.
With the President in one helicopter were Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, according to Carandang.
Carandang rode in another helicopter with Energy Secretary Jose Almendras, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, and Akbayan spokesperson Rissa Hontiveros, Carandang said.
The President and his the party proceeded by land to an evacuation center in Paniqui.
Originally posted: 10:20 am | Friday, August 10th, 2012