MANILA—Presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said Wednesday the investigation on the use of state-owned helicopter by Philippine National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos should not be preempted.
The H125 Airbus helicopter that was supposed to fetch Carlos from private resort island Balesin crashed in Quezon on Monday, leaving 1 dead and 2 hurt.
Lacson made the remark as he said that he never used PNP resources when he was the country’s' top cop.
"Sinabi na nila investigation is underway. Dapat huwag ipreempt. Simple lang naman 'yun e. Official function ba ang pagpunta o pag-ferry sa kaniya o pag-pick up sa kaniya ng helicopter?" he said.
"Kung official function, walang problema 'yun. Pero kung personal, sa kaniyang personal, pribadong sabihin nating situation, meron talagang mali. Ako nag-Chief PNP ako, I never used PNP resources, choppers for my personal needs,” Lacson said.
Lacson said investigators should look into that gray area what prompted Carlos to request for an admin flight.
"Kasi there's no doubt inamin na niya personal niya ang Balesin. Pero sabihin din natin kailangan siya bumalik ng Crame dahil may gagampanan siyang official function kaya siya nagpasundo dahil ang kaniyang private flight ay 'di available. 'Yun ang gray area dun,” he said.
An investigating task group, composed of personnel from the PNP and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, has been formed to determine the exact cause of the accident.
Carlos said he flew on Sunday afternoon to Balesin, which is part of Quezon's Polillo town, for some private time.
Prior to that, the police chief was in Baguio City to attend the PMA Alumni Homecoming on Friday, and then returned to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Saturday afternoon, he said.
He said that from Balesin, he was set to return to Manila on Monday morning via private transport but it was only available on Monday night "due to unforeseen circumstances".
The police force has grounded their entire fleet of H125 Airbus Police helicopters pending the result of the investigation.
The ill-fated chopper is among 5 of the organization's H125 Airbus helicopters that were operational prior to the crash, while 2 others are under maintenance.
—With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News