'Malicious fabrication:' Robredo camp belies priority landing claims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 07:25 PM | Updated as of May 17 2022 08:00 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo. Photo by Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Vice President Leni Robredo. Photo by Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA — The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday denied a claim from a Cebu Pacific pilot that she had requested priority landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). 

"This never happened and is a malicious fabrication," Robredo's office said in a statement.

"During her entire tenure as Vice President, VP Leni has never asked to be prioritized for taking off or landing when traveling by air. Any claim to the contrary is a lie," it added.

Robredo's office expressed concern that "disinformation and fake news" continue to be hurled against her even thought it has been a week since the May 9 polls wherein she lost in the presidential race.

"Lying, unfortunately, has become a full-blown industry on social media," it said.

Earlier in the day, Cebu Pacific apologized to Robredo over the claim of its pilot, who, it said, admitted to have no basis. The pilot's Facebook post has been deleted.

The airline said it found its pilot's allegations as "purely speculative and careless on his part."

"On behalf of Cebu Pacific, and as Head of our Pilot Group, I take command responsibility and apologize unreservedly to the Vice President and the general public for the actions of our pilot," Cebu Pacific's vice president for flight operations Capt. Sam Avila said.

CAAP: PILOT'S POST 'AN INTERNAL MATTER'

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said air traffic data sourced from the air traffic service are covered by the agency's confidentiality clauses "as this information has its security implications."

But it sees the issue as an "internal matter that must be discussed by the airline and the concerned pilot."

"CAAP hopes for a peaceful conclusion regarding the matter," the agency said.

In 2016, CAAP issued a memorandum on presidential movements to ensure "smooth and safe operations" in all airports managed by the agency, including NAIA.

"As the country’s national aviation authority responsible for keeping air traffic organized and safe, CAAP will always uphold safety and security over personal and political angles," it said.

— reports by Jamaine Punzalan and Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

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