Biazon underscores urgency of probe into recent C-130, Black Hawk crashes

Published July 4, 2021, 4:20 PM

by Ben Rosario

An investigation into the latest crashes of military air assets has become “twice as urgent” to immediately determine the cause and safety measures that should be put in place to avoid similar incidents from happening again, the vice chairman of the House Committee on Defense and Security said on Sunday, July 4.

Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon said the crash of a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane before noontime Sunday in Patikul, Sulu is a “major blow to the capability and morale” of the AFP.

This is the second crash of an air asset of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in less than two weeks.

On June 23, a newly-acquired S-70i Black Hawk chopper crashed in Tarlac, killing six officers and crew.

Initial reports on the C-130 incident indicated that 17 military personnel died while at least 40 were rescued after the aircraft crash landed in Patikul.

 “The loss of life of our soldiers and airmen during training and non-combat operations is something that is difficult to accept although it is a part of the inherent risks in serving in the military,” said Biazon.

“Their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the performance of their duty, whether while fighting the enemy or in training, is more than enough reason for the nation to give gratitude and honor to them,” he added.

Biazon, son of former AFP chief of staff and ex-Senator Rodolfo Biazon, said it is very urgent that investigators are able to determine “the causes of these crashes whether human error, equipment failure, or weather disturbance is to blame.”

“Being newly-acquired assets, should equipment failure be determined as the cause, it will bring to fore questions on the quality of the assets acquired or the maintenance capability of the unit involved,” he said.

The lawmaker added: “Should it be determined that crew error is the cause, the training and readiness of personnel may have to be reviewed.”