Isabela

Hopes still up with new search mission for missing Cessna plane in Isabela

Joann Manabat
Hopes still up with new search mission for missing Cessna plane in Isabela

AERIAL SEARCH. Tactical Operations Group 2 of the Tactical Operations Wing, Northern Luzon conducts an aerial search over the Sierra Madre range for a Cessna 206 aircraft that disappeared on January 24.

Tactical Operations Wing, Northern Luzon

Anna May Kamatoy, the mother of two passengers, brings some of her children’s used clothes for the scent-tracking dogs

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines –  A chopper of the Northern Luzon Tactical Operations Wing flew another search mission on Monday, February 13 in Isabela province as officials expressed hope that they could still find the Cessna 206 aircraft that disappeared on January 24 in the Sierra Madre mountain range.

“Hopes are still up, otherwise we would have stopped. Sana nga makita na sila,” sabela Incident Management Team chief Constante Foronda told Rappler three weeks after the plane’s disappearance.

Missing are pilot Capt. Eleazar Mark Joven and passengers Josefa Perla Espana, 59; Val Kamatoy, 34; Mark Eiron Siguerra, 21;  Rom Joshtle Manaday, 16; and Xam Siguerra, 10.

The mother of Mark and Xam, Anna May Kamatoy, went to Isabela on February 13 to bring some of her children’s used clothes for the scent-tracking dogs, Foronda said.

No sighting was reported on February 13, according to Foronda, who did not give a date for a new ground search.

“Wala pa din. Nakapagpalipad ng isa sortie yung helicopter kanina pero wala rin, di pa rin makita,” the official said. (No sighting yet. A chopper flew on a sortie earlier but the crew did not find anything.)

“Kung maliparan nila yung area na dating natakpan ng clouds eh mag-clear, hopefully maliparan nila,” he added. (Hopefully, if the clouds clear up, they will be able to fly above the area where the plane was last seen.)

SEARCH SITE. A portion of the Sierra Madre mountain range that was the target of an aerial search on February 13 of the Tactical Operations Group 2, of Tactical Operations Wing, Northern Luzon Facebook. TOW-NOL

Site Alpha, the primary search target, is in a remote forest in Divilacan town, Foronda said. 

Some residents around the area have said they saw a white object flying in that direction of the Sierra Madre before the aircraft  disappeared.

On February 11, nine men and one woman with six scent-tracking dogs led the ground search in the area around Maconacon while the Philippine Armed Forces conducted one new aerial search sortie over an area that had not yet been searched.

The family of the passengers, via social media, has also asked the public for continuous prayers. – Rappler.com

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