Palace blames Visayas exec’s chopper pilot in PhilSports landing

By Inquirer.net |January 10,2019 - 05:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday said Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino had nothing to do with the disruption of a sports event when the helicopter he was on landed at the PhilSports Complex grounds in Pasig City.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the pilot of the helicopter is the one to be blamed for the incident.

Dino recently drew the ire of netizens after photos and videos of him walking across the field following a surprise helicopter landing circulated on social media.

“I asked Sec. Michael Dino about it and he explained it. He said he was going to attend an event and they’re going to pick up someone there (in Ultra),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

“So they landed, I think the pilot didn’t know that there is a game going on and so while they’re waiting he asked for a rest room and he went there,” he added.

Office of the Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales, in a statement, said Dino was bound for Batangas when the incident happened.

“He (Dino) had no way of knowing that there was any ongoing event in Ultra (PhilSports Complex). He was just told that the chopper will pick up other passengers,” Gonzales said.

“While waiting for the others to board the chopper, he took his only chance to go to the restroom before their onward destination,” he added.

Reports also claimed that the chopper’s landing was unauthorized.

Panelo insisted that the pilot is at fault for failing to communicate and get a proper clearance to land.

“He (pilot) landed there when there was an on going game, maiistorbo nga talaga kasi dapat ‘yun nagcommunicate siya kung cleared ba ‘yung ground,” he said.

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