SO what’s the big fuss over the controversial landing of the chopper Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino rode in? Dino’s political detractors and some netizens quickly criticized him and called his conduct abuse of power when a video showed him getting off from the chopper that landed at the oval of the Ultra Philippine Sports Complex in Pasig City last Wednesday.
It became controversial as the landing had no prior clearance and authority from officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) that manages the facility. The landing violated the protocol of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as it endangered the lives of the athletes practicing in the oval.
Dino got off after an escort cleared the area. While walking, he was greeted by an unidentified person wearing a red t-shirt who pointed to an unknown direction. Dino, wearing a black jacket and maong pants, was seen walking. Then the video stopped. Was Dino’s conduct abusive based on the footage? No.
But why did it become controversial? Because of the claim that Dino used a government chopper and the landing was unauthorized. Meaning, he could be using his strong connection with Malacañang.
Jonji Gonzales, Dino’s assistant, said Dino was on his way to Batangas City to inaugurate another Malasakit Center. The chopper landed at Ultra to fetch other officials to join Dino’s delegation. Dino disembarked to look for a comfort room. Malacañang spokesman Salvador Panelo said the fault was that of the pilot who landed in the area without prior clearance. But was it the decision of the pilot or did someone order him to land?
I believe the pilot had a prior arrangement to fetch the other members of the delegation at the Ultra. As for the clearance, I think it is the obligation of the pilot to ask for that.
But what’s the big fuss over this issue? Is there someone behind this? Dino’s detractors should instead dig deeper. They should check who owns the chopper. Was it rented or provided for free? Were government funds involved and who authorized the trip? Is putting Malasakit Centers in other parts of the country part of Dino’s function? I understand the establishment of Malasakit Centers is designed to boost the senatorial bid of Bong Go.
Nagduda ko nga usa sa mga nagpa-dako aning isyuha kanang yabag diha sa City Hall.
Here’s a request from colleague Eddie Barrita, perpetual president of the Visayanian Staffers Alumni Association.
Members of the Visayanian Staffers Alumni Association and the UV Law Class ‘63 will hold their joint pre-Sinulog get-together at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 at the Ecotech Center in Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City.
The group’s members include former Court of Appeals justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos, former Judge Benjie Cobarde, former executive labor arbiter Rey Belarmino, former SunStar Cebu editor-in-chief Pachico Seares, former The Freeman publisher Jerry Tundag, columnists and broadcasters Frank Malilong and Elias Espinoza, columnist Eddie Barrita, lawyer and retired general Fritz Quiñanola and Jesse Bacon.