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MANILA, Philippines – A day after a tragic chopper crash killed one police personnel and injured two others, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Dionardo Carlos broke his silence over the issue.
In a statement released to reporters on Tuesday, February 22, Carlos explained that he used the PNP airbus because of the supposed unavailability of a private vehicle in the luxury island.
“Over the weekend, I attended the PMA (Philippine Military Academy) Alumni Homecoming at PMA, Baguio City and returned to Crame, QC Saturday afternoon,” Carlos said.
“The following day, Sunday afternoon I traveled to Balesin island for private time and scheduled to return Monday morning via private transport. However, I was informed that due to unforeseen circumstances, said private transport would only be available in the evening of Monday,” the PNP chief added.
Read Carlos’ full statement here: pic.twitter.com/E4pt1OBl0J— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) February 22, 2022
Carlos claimed that his usage of a PNP asset followed police rules:
“This prompted me to request for an admin flight to transfer/move me back to Camp Crame Monday morning so I can perform my duties. The flight directive was allowed and issued following PNP rules and regulations.”
On Monday morning, H125 Airbus, a single-engine helicopter, crashed in Real, Quezon and killed Patrolman Allen Noel Ona. The accident also injured Police Lieutenant Colonel Dexter Vitug, the pilot, and co-pilot Police Lieutenant Colonel Michael Melloria.
Carlos is the last PNP chief under President Rodrigo Duterte. The national police chief has strong ties with former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa for serving as Dela Rosa’s spokesperson.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the department sees no liability from Carlos. The DILG oversees the police.
“We don’t see any liability or anything wrong with a PNP air asset picking up the CPNP to go to an official function in Crame. The CPNP is [the] head of the police anywhere in the Philippines,” Malaya told Rappler.
Malaya further explained that Carlos’ use of the PNP chopper is his “privilege” as the head of the police: “He was being picked up by a PNP chopper to go to the PNP NHQ. He is entitled to that privilege as head of the police organization.” – Rappler.com