By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is expected to continue riding helicopters in his local trips despite the helicopter crash involving several police officials on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo affirmed that the incident won’t affect the President’s helicopter rides, adding that Duterte has a fatalistic attitude towards life and death.
“I don think… You know naman the President eh. The President always says, ‘If it’s my time, it’s my time.’ Fatalistic siya eh (He is fatalistic),” he said during a Palace press briefing Thursday when asked if the crash will affect the President’s use of helicopters.
A helicopter carrying Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa and several policemen crashed in Laguna shortly after takeoff Thursday morning. The helicopter took off from a private lot used as an impounding area for vehicles, hit a power line and crashed on a road. The passengers survived the helicopter crash but reportedly suffered minor injuries.
Panelo said they were happy that Gamboa and the other police officers survived the incident. “We were shocked and sad to hear about the chopper crash. At the same time we’re glad that only minor injuries were suffered by the passengers,” he said.
He also said it appears that the helicopter crash was an accident. “According to the PNP, that’s a latest acquisition and it’s a very good chopper. So, apparently it’s really an accident,” he said.
But he said the Palace would wait for the results of the investigation on the incident. “Iniimbestigahan pa kung (It is still being investigated) whether it was a pilot error or engine pero wala pa eh (There’s none so far). Let’s wait for the investigation,” he said.