Roxas downplays Tulfo-Santiago brawl

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 08 2012 10:28 PM | Updated as of May 09 2012 07:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)  Secretary Mar Roxas is convinced that the airport security responded properly to the fistfight between columnist Mon Tulfo and celebrity couple Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago.

Roxas believes the clash was an isolated incident and is not a reason for concern over public security.

"Makikita sa video na iyung mga security guards, andun. Nagawa nila yung kanilang trabaho," he said on ANC Prime Time on Tuesday.

Roxas said security guards at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport could have used force to stop the fight, but they didn't because Tulfo, Santiago, Barretto were unarmed.

"This is less a reflection on the quality of the security service as it is a reflection on the combatants. Bakit sila nag-away?" he added.

"(The guards') principal focus is not warring pugilists. Their focus is anti-terrorism, anti-smuggling. Ito iyung pinagtutuunan ng pansin," Roxas said.

He added that there could be a reason behind Cebu Pacific's decision to offload the baggage of Santiago's group. "Kung na-offload yung bagahe nila, tanungin yung airline. There could be reasons why."

He said the Caticlan airstrip, which was the point of origin of the Santiagos' flight, "is very short."

"All aircraft have what's called a load penalty. They have to give up (passengers or cargo)," Roxas explained.

"Who's the airline that wants to disappoint their customers? So there must be a reason," he added.

Roxas, meanwhile, assured that the lack of CCTVs at NAIA Terminal 3 will be addressed soon after the government settled court issues and seal the deal with NAIA-3's Japanese contractor, Takenaka.

Cebu Pacific chief executive officer and president Lance Gokongwei and Philippine Airlines President Ramon Ang were at the DOTC on Tuesday to talk about problems concerning airport congestion and flight delays.

Gokongwei was asked about passenger complaints against Cebu Pacific, particularly since the airport brawl involving Tulfo and the Santiagos stemmed from a complaint Claudine made to Cebu Pacific about their luggage.

Gokongwei explained that the whole airline industry is affected by such problems and that they are willing to cooperate with the measures being implemented by the government to address them. - with a report from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News