PNP forms task group to probe chopper crash | Inquirer News

PNP forms task group to probe chopper crash

/ 01:53 PM March 05, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has created a special investigation task group (SITG) to conduct an in-depth probe on the crash of a helicopter carrying PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa and seven others, including three police generals.

“Per VI of TDCA, SITG ‘Bell 429’ is formed effective today to investigate the PNP helicopter crash incident in San Pedro, Laguna involving the CPNP (Chief of the PNP) and 7 others,” Maj. Gen. Benigno Durana Jr., chief of the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations, said in a text message to reporters.

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Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan is The Deputy Chief for Administration (TDCA).

According to Durana, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, is designated as the commander of the SITG under the directive.

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Maj. Gen. Elmo Francis Sarona, head of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, will be the assistant commander of the task group.

Among the members of the task group are the Directorate for Operations, Directorate for Intelligence, Directorate for Police Community Relations, Special Action Force, Aviation Security Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the Police Regional Office 4.

The Bell 429 chopper crashed as it was taking off from San Pedro, Laguna after it got tangled on a high-tension wire, causing it to crash..

Lt. Col. Serafin Petalio, provincial director of the Laguna police, said the helicopter tried to take off at a dusty ground, hampering visibility.

Aside from Gamboa, other passengers of the chopper are Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, PNP Director for Intelligence; Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Ramos, Director for Comptrollership; Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson; pilot Lt. Col. Zalatar; co-pilot Lt. Col. Macawili; Senior Master Sergeant Estona, helicopter crew; and Capt. Gayramara, Gamboa’s aide.

The PNP command group and quad staff temporarily grounded the PNP’s entire fleet of rotary-wing aircraft while a “full-blown” investigation is ongoing.

Durana also said that Gamboa has not designated an officer-in-charge of the PNP while he is admitted at the hospital, saying the police organization can function like a “well-oiled machine.”

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“Sa ngayon (For now), the one making the day-to-day operation ay ‘yung susunod (is the next in line), TDCA ably supported by the rest of the Command Group,” he said.

Durana also said the task group will tap the Civil Aviation Authority in the Philippines in investigating the accident.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: Gen. Archie Gamboa, Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP‎, SITG ‘Bell 429’
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