Chopper log confirms ‘Judge Moner’ was a passenger
The flight log of one of the helicopters allegedly owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo listed a certain “Judge Moner” as a passenger in a May 18, 2004, flight that originated from Davao and flew to different parts of Mindanao that day.
A copy of the log obtained by the Inquirer showed that Flight Log Record No. 29 of Robinson R44 Raven I series 1371 (erroneously written as 1731 in that page only) listed the passengers that day as “Judge Moner and security.”
It was not immediately clear whether the judge referred to in the log was former Shariah Circuit Judge Nagamura Moner who claimed to have received huge amounts of cash from Arroyo after the May 2004 election, allegedly as payment for efforts to change the results of the presidential election in favor of Arroyo’s wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The single-page log indicated that “Judge Moner” and company put in 5.2 hours of flight time as they flew from Davao to Cotabato (one hour); then to Zamboanga (1.5 hours) and back to Cotabao (1.5 hours) before circling to Iligan City and settling in Cagayan de Oro for the day (1.2 hours).
Sold to PNP
The pilot was a certain “M. Labastilla” whose license number was written as 87CH90.
A check against previous testimonies given to the Senate blue ribbon committee showed that Margarito Labastilla, who identified himself as a “part-time Lionair pilot,” remembered having flown to various points in Mindanao during the 2004 election period using a helicopter maintained by the company.
In his testimony, Labastilla recalled that he flew to Tawi-Tawi, Marawi, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon during that period.
Lionair owner Archibald Po earlier told the Senate hearing that he had bought and maintained a fleet of five Raven I helicopters for Arroyo from 2004 to 2009. One of these units crashed during the 2004 campaign period.
Two of the units were eventually sold to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2009, allegedly at Arroyo’s behest, two others are in the Lionair hangar in Pasay City.
Po expressed interest in donating the two remaining choppers to the government provided he is not slapped with any criminal or civil liability for doing so.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson told the blue ribbon committee that two Raven helicopters with series numbers 1372 and 1374 were sold to the PNP at brand-new prices.
Last Tuesday, Moner submitted an affidavit to the blue ribbon committee detailing his participation in the allegedly “massive cheating” in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu in the 2004 presidential elections.
He said his efforts were executed “upon the direction of and with the blessings of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo).”
The former judge identified Alfonso G. Cusi, former manager of the Philippine Ports Authority as his handler and liaison with the Arroyos.
Moner said he was eventually given P3 million “for me and my associates so they will not be restive and so they will not expose their participation or involvement in the cheating.”
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