MANILA - A tired Cesar Montano could not help but air his frustration on Facebook after his flight was affected by the emergency closure implemented in one of the runways of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday.
The "Ang Probinsyano" actor was aboard Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight 454 from General Santos City, one of the seven flights diverted to the Clark International Airport due to the NAIA runway closure.
He posted a video on his Facebook account showing him and the other passengers inside the plane. In the caption, he claimed that they were "stranded" for four hours and were only given a pack of biscuits to eat.
"Hindi makatao 'tong ginawa nila sa amin," Montano said in an interview with ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual, adding that PAL should change their policies regarding similar situations. "They should amend their policy kung concern nila ang mga tao, kung priority nila safety ng passengers," he explained.
In his other clips uploaded on the social media site, Montano also complained about the lack of transportation vehicles being used to assist the passengers from the plane to the main terminal, as well as the shortage of buses to Metro Manila.
He also revealed that the delay in deplaning resulted in a few passengers fainting due to hunger. "We were promised to be fed with hot meal but it never came!" he insisted. "Iyong dalawang babaeng who fainted could have been avoided if they fed us!"
Singer Richard Poon and music icon Freddie Aguilar were also in the same flight as Montano. Poon took the Instagram to share their experience, claiming that passengers were asking them to sing a few songs for entertainment.
In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, Philippine Airlines spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said that the overwhelming number of affected passengers was the cause for the delay in deplaning.
"There were thousands of passengers stranded and 15-20 planes at any given time from various operating carriers," Villaluna said. "The long take off queues led to long waiting time."
"Before deplaning is possible, logistical requirements have to be met; air stairs and holding areas for passengers. These were challenges that had to be addressed," Villaluna added.
Montano's latest Facebook post already showed him at the set of "Ang Probinsyano" in Navotas City. He was seen filming the conclusion of the series' current story arc, where he plays a hired killer, with lead star Coco Martin.
Normal operations resumed in NAIA past 11 p.m. Monday night, according to reports. The incident, however, prompted an apology from newly appointed Transportation Secretary Art Tugade.
"Hihingi ako ng dispensa sa bayan sapagkat nabahiran na naman ang imahe natin dahil sa pangyayaring ito," Tugade said. "Ako ho ang nakaupo dito, hindi ako titingin sa nakaraan."
"Ako po ang nakaupo dito at responsibilidad po namin iyang nangyari na iyan. Please accept our apologies and we will do our best that this will never happen again," he added.