Aviation police recounts how Robredo got into planeCebu Daily News
AN aviation security official officials recounted his meeting with Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo before he took that fateful private flight to Masbate City last Saturday afternoon.
Supt. Ritchie Posodas, chief of the Police Center for Aviation Security (PCAS), said he was with the secretary when Robredo and his aide Capt. Jun Abrazado left the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Robredo was in Cebu to attend the ground breaking ceremony of the new PNP Regional Training Center in Consolacion town and the Community Investigative Support (CIS) summit in Cebu International Convention Center (CICC).
Posadas said Robredo left for airport on board a Toyota Grandia. Due to his schedule, Robredo was interviewed by local media while walking down from the plenary hall to the CICC main door.
In a phone interview, Posadas said he received a text message from Abrazado stating that he and Robredo will ride a private plane instead of a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Manila.
Posadas said he, deputy regional director for administration Chief Supt. Samuel Yordan and Supt. Rex Urban, chief of PNP Regional Training Center, sent off Robredo at the airport.
At 3:30 p.m. Posadas said Abrazado sent a text message to him stating “Sir ikot kmi pabalik kami airport, may prob daw propeler, mag chance passenger kami back to Manila (Sir, we’ll return to the airport, there’s a problem with the propeller. We’d be willing to be a chance passenger for a flight back to Manila),” he said.
Posadas said they already booked a 5 p.m Cebu Pacific for Robredo and his aide when another text message reached Posadas saying they would attempt an emergency landing in Masbate City.
Posadas said he went back to the General Aviation office to monitor Robredo’s flight. He texted Abrazado every five minutes.
Posadas he never noticed any indication of panic from Abrazado. He said their communication was cut short afterwards, leading him to think there was a signal problem.
It was only later when he learned about the incident, Posadas said.
Meanwhile Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district said he wants to check the maintenance operations of aviation schools operating in Cebu City.
Robredo’s chartered flight was offered by AviaTour Air owned by Capt. Jessup Bahinting, who is now missing along with Robredo and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, a Nepalese.
“I know (Capt. Jessup) Bahinting. I know he’s got a lot of friends but I think we have to look at his planes. I think his aircraft should be looked into,” the congressman said.
For his efforts to secure the snake anti-venom used to treat a Cebu Zoo keeper bitten by a King Cobra last week, Capt. Bahinting is set to receive a special lifesaver award from the Cebu City Hall.
The aviator who is also chairman and CEO of the Lapu-Lapu City based AviaTour offered one of his planes to fly to and from Camiguin last Friday to pick the anti-venom vials that saved the life of Ronaldo “Ronron” Aventurado./Chito O. Aragon, Correspondent with Correspondent Edison delos Santos