3 confirmed dead in Bulacan chopper crash

Robie de Guzman   •   April 25, 2019   •   3532

The ill-fated chopper half-submerged in a fish pond | Courtesy: PRO3

(UPDATE) Three men were killed when a helicopter crashed into a fishpond in Malolos, Bulacan on Thursday (April 25).

Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of Philippine Red Cross (PRC) confirmed this in a post on his Twitter account.

“Update: Death toll rose to 3 in a helicopter crash in Malolos, Bulacan. Other injured passengers were already transported by our @philredcross team to Bulacan Medical Center,” Gordon said.

Local police initially reported that two passengers died “in an accidental helicopter crash” in Barangay Anilao that happened at past 12 p.m.

Another victim was rushed to the nearest hospital due to injuries sustained after the crash. The victim was later declared dead by attending physician.

Police have yet to release the identities of the victims.

In a separate Twitter post, the PRC said the helicopter was carrying at least six passengers on board. A patient was transported by its ambulance to Bulacan Medical Center.

The helicopter, which bears the body number RP C8098, was described in the report as severely damaged or “total wreck.”

Responding teams are still investigating if there are other victims at the crash site.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said the helicopter, bound for San Fernando, Pampanga, took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) General Aviation Hangar around 12:28 p.m.

The chopper was owned and operated by LGC Air Transport.

CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco said an Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board has been dispatched to the crash site.– Robie de Guzman

MGen. Magaway released from hospital months after helicopter crash

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Former PNP Directorate for Intelligence Major General Mariel Magaway finally returned home after months of being confined at the Asian Hospital since he figured in a helicopter crash in March. 

This was confirmed by Deputy Chief for Administration Police Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan who was there when Magaway was discharged on Thursday (May 21).

Cascolan said Magaway is in good shape and his memory remains sharp though he needs to go through physical therapy to improve his mobility.

“Two weeks to one month therapy kayang-kaya na niya yun,” he said. 

“Inaalalayan lang siya syempre kasi ikaw ba naman na more than two months [sa ospital] tapos masakit likod mo, may mga bali pa sa buto pero ok siya, ” he added.

General Magaway was among the eight passengers of the ill-fated Bell 429 that crashed at the PNP impounding area in San Pedro, Laguna minutes after taking off. 

Other passengers in the flight were PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa and his aide, PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, two pilots and former Directorate for Comptrollership PMGen. Jovic Ramos who is still recovering in a hospital. MNP (with inputs from Lea Ylagan)

Bulacan Congressman Villarica contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 27, 2020

Bulacan Fourth District Representative Henry Villarica

MANILA, Philippines – Bulacan Fourth District Representative Henry Villarica has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), House of Representatives Secretary-General Atty. Jose Luis Montales confirmed Thursday.

Montales said Villarica last reported for work at the House on March 4, and was admitted to the hospital on March 18 for pneumonia.

On March 8, he attended an event hosted by Baliuag, Bulacan Mayor Ferdie Estrella, who was earlier reported to have tested positive for COVID-19.

The secretary-general said Villarica is now in stable condition, while none of his staff have manifested any symptoms.

Montales said the Medical Department of the House of Representatives is now tracing all those who may have had contact with the virus-infected solon.

Villarica is the latest lawmaker to have contracted the viral disease.

ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap earlier tested positive for coronavirus, as well as Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Sonny Angara.

Aside from Estrella, local officials who got infected with the virus are Rizal Governor Nini Ynares, and Naic, Cavite Mayor Junio Dualan.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported 71 new cases, bringing the total confirmed infections to 707. The number of fatalities also rose to 45 while 28 have recovered. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

ERRATUM:
The House of Representatives issued an erratum on the date of Rep. Villarica’s confinement which was on March 18 instead of March 12 as previously reported. Revision has been made accordingly.

PNP chief Gamboa released from hospital a day after Laguna chopper crash

Robie de Guzman   •   March 6, 2020

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa has been released from St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig on Friday afternoon, a day after he and seven others got injured in a helicopter crash in San Pedro, Laguna.

PNP acting spokesman Major General Benigno Durana confirmed this to media.

“Oo, discharged na siya,” he said.

Gamboa earlier said he would return to work on Monday after giving assurance that he is okay following the crash.

The PNP chief sustained minor injuries after the Bell 429 chopper they were riding in crashed in Laguna on Thursday morning.

Gamboa was with Directorate for Comptrollership Major General Jovic Ramos, Directorate for Intelligence Major General Mariel Magaway, and PNP Spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac. Two pilots, Gamboa’s aide, and a technician were also on board the helicopter.

Banac and four others also sustained minor abrasions while Magaway and Ramos are still unconscious and are in unstable condition.

Magaway and Ramos are being treated in separate hospitals in Biñan, Laguna.

Durana said Banac has also requested to be discharged from hospital as he wasn’t seriously hurt in the incident.

“Banac intends to be released tomorrow, upon the approval of his doctor,” he said.

In a statement, Banac thanked all those who sent messages of support and prayers for his recovery.

“Yes, I was shaken, but not stirred. And by God’s grace I am well and recovering now and raring to report back to duty as soon as I am cleared by my doctors,” he said.

“Let us join hands and thoughts in fervent prayer for the other PNP officers who suffered more serious injuries. We pray for their healing and strength to overcome this trial,” he added.

Gamboa’s aide de camp, Police captain Keventh Gayramara, was also released Friday afternoon.

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