MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said yesterday it would wait for the official report from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) before declaring that there was no foul play in the plane crash off Masbate last Aug. 18 that killed former interior secretary Jesse Robredo and two pilots.
CAAP deputy director John Andrews said the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane that the three boarded together with Robredo’s police aide, Chief Inspector Jun Abrazado, was already 40 years old, having been manufactured in 1972.
“First, that remark that was made by Captain Andrews, if I am not mistaken, was a personal opinion. As you all know, the CAAP is still conducting the investigation. We would like to hold off any initial information. At this point, it would be best for all of us to wait until the CAAP itself releases the results of the final investigation,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
Valte said the CAAP investigation was still ongoing and “we would rather that the investigation be finished first before these statements can be made.”
“It’s hard to say anything in the middle of an investigation and when all evidence have not yet been evaluated,” she added. Asked if it was careless on the part of Andrews to make such statements, Valte said: “It was his personal opinion.”
Andrews told the congressional oversight committee hearing the other day that they were doing a parallel investigation “for possible punitive or other actions to be taken, for or against the airline concerned.”
“As far as the accident is concerned, it was established that there was no foul play. Maybe it was an accident that was waiting to happen and I would like to request an executive session to bring out the different causes or reasons behind it all,” Andrews said.
The CAAP official refused to provide the media details of their probe.