Fortun demands public apology from Cebu Pacific
High-profile lawyer Raymond Fortun, who has threatened to sue Cebu Pacific Air for the supposed inconvenience it has caused its passengers, wants the airline to issue a public apology for what he called a failure in corporate responsibility.
Fortun said he would be sending his demand letter to Cebu Pacific on Monday, which will contain his demand for a public apology from the head of the company for “failing to look after the welfare of their passengers who had been affected by the cancellation of their flights without adequate notice.”
In a follow-up Facebook post on Thursday evening, Fortun said he also wants Cebu Pacific to establish an action center where passengers affected by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit may “submit their requests for reimbursement of expenses incurred (duly covered by receipts) as a direct assault of the airline’s failure to inform the public of flight cancellations without adequate notice.”
“A commitment that these claims will be paid within 48 hours from verification [must also be made]. No horror stories of unprocessed claims that remain pending for 6 months to a year,” Fortun said.
“Needless to state, the failure or refusal to agree to these terms will constrain me to initiate suit for myself and for all those who were similarly affected, and to hold the airline liable for actual, moral and exemplary damages,” he added.
In his earlier narration on Facebook, Fortun, who is currently stuck in Saigon and continues to incur expenses with his family there, said he received an email from Cebu Pacific that Manila was a no-fly zone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of their return, Nov. 19, due to the Apec summit. But he added that another email saying that he could already check in via web for his return flight made him assume that the flight would push through.
However, Fortun said they were told at the Cebu Pacific counter on Wednesday night that the flight was cancelled.
“I was able to secure boarding passes for our return trip. My second son was participating in a chorale competition this Saturday and initially wanted to back out from the trip; we convinced him to come along as there was now a confirmation that he would be back by Thursday morning,” he said. “The staff claimed that we were sent an email on Nov 17, that the flight was canceled. We did not receive that email.”
In his update, Fortun also shared that he accepted an offer from a lawyer friend from Cebu Pacific that he and his family could fly back to Manila at 1 a.m. on Friday, with the assurance that nobody would be bumped off just to accommodate them. But as of Friday morning, Fortun said only his wife and two kids were able to get to ride, while he and his eldest son were still in Saigon.
“God has His reasons for this to happen to us. He clearly wants me to experience what a lot of Filipinos are suffering right now. What is heartbreaking is, unlike me, [I] know that some do not have the means to cope with the financial burdens of staying in a foreign country,” the lawyer said. CDG
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.