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PIA Press Release

PGMA orders immediate aid for families of C-130 passengers, crew

Manila (27 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered government agencies to provide immediate assistance to the families of the passengers and crew of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 that crashed off Davao City Monday evening.

Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said the President, who is in Laoag City for the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) meeting, has expressed sadness upon learning of the incident.

She said President Arroyo also ordered the PAF to conduct a thorough investigation on the cause of the crash, on which the PAF will submit its initial report on Wednesday.

"She (President Arroyo) has issued instructions to agencies like the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to coordinate with the families of he victims and (provide) whatever assistance the government can give especially most of them are government employees as well," Fajardo said in a text message to Palace reporters.

Initial reports said the ill-fated C-130 lost contact with Davao air traffic controllers shortly after taking off.

Around Tuesday noon, rescuers recovered a body believed to be that of a crew member of the missing PAF C-130 aircraft off Davao City, bolstering fears that the plane may have crashed into sea.

PAF chief Lt. Gen. Pedro Cadungog said that debris from the missing aircraft, including plane parts such as a wheel, were also recovered in Lapu-Lapu village.

Also recovered was the military ID of one of the aircraft's crew members, Staff Sergeant Petronilo Fernandez.

Aside from Fernandez, those on board the plane at the time of the accident were -- Major Manuel Sambrano, the aircraft's pilot; Captain Adrian de Dios, co-pilot; Flight Technical Sergeant Constantino Lobregat; Staff Sergeant John Arriola; Staff Sergeant Gerry Delioso; Staff Sergeant Felix Pedro Patriarga; Staff Sergeant Patricio Claur Jr; and Staff Sergeant Aldrin Ilustrisimo.

Earlier reports indicated that the C-130 aircraft left Davao International Airport about 8:50 p.m. Monday to pick up personnel from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Iloilo City and bring them back to Manila.

The plane, however, lost contact with ground personnel about 10 minutes after take off, leading authorities to declare the aircraft missing. (PNA) [top]

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