Bohol Third District Rep. Alexie Tutor has called on her colleagues in the House of Representatives to prioritize the deliberation and passage of bills on transportation safety after a C-130 Hercules plane of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed in Patikul, Sulu leaving almost 50 persons dead in what has been deemed as the worst military air tragedy in recent years.
“There have been bills filed on transportation safety which I now hope Congress will prioritize and regard as urgent,” Tutor said.
The neophyte legislator also highlighted the need for thorough aircraft inspections and continuous flight training for pilots and other aircraft personnel.
According to Tutor, there should be a transportation safety board to independently investigate aircraft crashes, ship mishaps, train derailments, multiple vehicle crashes and other major transport safety incidents.
The Patikul incident is the fourth fatal crash of a military aircraft in 2021 alone.
Other recorded accidents involved three helicopter crashes in Capas Tarlac on June 23 (six fatalities), in Getafe, Bohol on April 27 (one fatality) and in Impasugong, Bukidnon on January 16 (seven fatalities).
Tutor recalled that the lone military personnel who died during the Getafe incident was Boholano PAF pilot Captain Auerelios Olano, who was her “kababayan.”
“This incident comes too soon after the recent crash of a newly-acquired Blackhawk helicopter. Also very recently, we Boholanos mourned the untimely death of Captain Aurelios Olano, my kababayan who hailed from Candijay, Bohol,” said Tutor.
The 32-year-old Boholano died on April 27, 2021 when the McDonnel Douglas 52-MG Defender attack helicopter he was piloting plunged into waters off Getafe.
On Sunday July 4, 2021, the PAF C-130 which was carrying 96 military personnel and crew crashed in barangay Patikul.
Authorities have confirmed that all victims were already accounted for.
The military said that 47 personnel died, while 49 others survived the incident and have been transported to hospitals for treatment. (RT)