Foul play ruled out in Robredo crash | Inquirer News

Foul play ruled out in Robredo crash

/ 10:01 AM September 11, 2012

Aviation authorities have ruled out foul play in the plane crash that killed Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and two pilots almost a month ago.

Retired Capt. John Andrews, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines deputy director general, on Monday told a congressional joint committee examining his agency’s performance that he considered the crash of the four-seater Piper Seneca plane, owned by Cebu-based Aviatour Air, “an accident that was waiting to happen.”

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Andrews and his superior, CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III, however, immediately asked members of the joint committee, led by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., for an executive session.

Hotchkiss   said once the investigation is complete, the agency can consider “punitive action” on those found responsible for the crash.

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However, Hotchkiss added that “we cannot reveal right now what the (panel) has uncovered so far.”

Andrews immediately seconded the statement.

“The important thing was that there was no foul play. Secretary Robredo was also my friend and people need to know about this,” Andrews said.

The senator’s stressing on the “no foul play” statement apparently stems from speculations aired right after the crash that Robredo’s flight may have been sabotaged.

Robredo, Aviatour owner and pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese student pilot Kshitiz Chand were killed when the plane flying from Cebu City to the secretary’s hometown of Naga City allegedly experienced trouble in its right engine and crashed into the sea off Masbate on Aug. 18.

Robredo’s police aide, Jun Abrazado, the lone survivor, was rescued by a fisherman, who reportedly saw the aide floating on the water just minutes before the crippled aircraft sank into the bay.

Andrews said an examination of the flight manifest also showed Chand as a passenger. This meant that only Bahinting was flying the Piper Seneca at that time./INQUIRER

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TAGS: foul play, Jesse Robredo, Plane crash
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