Tugade insists he wasn’t ‘missing in action’ in Xiamen airline incident
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said he visited the actual crash site of the Xiamen Airlines aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), insisting that he was on top of the situation after being criticized for being “missing in action” during the incident.
During the Senate hearing on the incident on Monday, Tugade stressed that he just avoided being seen as his presence will only pressure those who are working to remove the Chinese aircraft that skidded past the runway and into grass.
“Lilinawin ko lang po, nandoon po ako sa mismong area sa pinangyarihan ng insidente. Hindi lang po ako nagpakita, dahil alam ko po ang epekto ng aking presensya sa pagta-trabaho ng lahat,” Tugade said.
During the previous hearing, Tugade was grilled by Senate public services committee chair Grace Poe and Senate tourism committee chair Nancy Binay for failing to oversee the removal of the aircraft.
He claimed that he was not able to sleep when he received a phone call around 1 a.m. from Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Eddie Monreal until the airport was cleared, adding that he was coordinating with them through phone throughout the whole ordeal.
Thousands of passengers were affected when a Xiamen aircraft veered off the main runway of Naia last August 16. /je
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