Cebu Pacific pilot admits Robredo priority landing claim 'baseless'

·Contributor
·2 min read
Cebu Pacific passenger jets are pictured at the tarmac of Terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International aiport in Pasay city, Metro Manila Philippines April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Cebu Pacific passenger jets are pictured at the tarmac of Terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International aiport in Pasay city, Metro Manila Philippines April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

A Cebu Pacific pilot who alleged that Vice President Leni Robredo requested for priority landing in April has admitted that his post had no basis, airline company Cebu Pacific Air said.

In a statement on Tuesday (May 17), Cebu Pacific Air’s vice-president for flight operations Captain Sam Avila confirmed that the pilot’s claims were “purely speculative and careless.”

“On behalf of Cebu Pacific, and as Head of our Pilot Group, I take command responsibility and apologize unreservedly to the Vice President and the general public for the actions of our pilot. As professional aviators and free citizens of this country, we are free to express opinions, but we are also expected to carry out our roles and duties with utmost discernment and caution,” Avila said.

In the post which has been now deleted, the pilot claimed that his flight was diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga last month because Robredo allegedly requested for priority landing.

The pilot also mentioned that Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airlines flights were among those affected by the sudden diversion. He further claimed that the incident debunks Robredo’s simplicity.

There were, however, no reported flight diversions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in April.

The captain said that the pilot's post "should not have been published," as Cebu Pacific has strict social media policies covering its employees.

“This is recognized by the said pilot himself. He is currently under disciplinary review in accordance with our Company rules and standards,” the statement added.

Cebu Pacific has earlier said that they are coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to look into the issue.

As of writing, Robredo’s camp is yet to comment on the issue as the vice-president’s family is in New York City to attend the graduation of Jillian Robredo.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom.

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