by Azer Parrocha
MANILA — After hearing about flight cancellations and delays, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday morning made a “surprise” inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2.
Duterte visited NAIA Terminal 2 at around 2 a.m., inspected the premises for about 20 to 30 minutes and also apologized to passengers affected by flight cancellations and delays.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte visited NAIA Terminal 2 after coming from the wake of Sendeng Loo Gaisano at the Capilla del Señor in Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Makati City.
“The President apologizes for the inconvenience to the public because of the delays,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo said Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal also assured the President that his agency is addressing the problem.
“I understand the head of NAIA committed to the President that they are doing something about the problems in NAIA,” he added.
According to a press release from Malacañang, a Philippine Airlines (PAL) manager and a NAIA-Terminal 2 airport duty manager explained the actions they have undertaken to normalize the situation.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to some of the passengers waiting for their flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City while conducting a surprise inspection on June 10, 2019. (Karl Norman Alonzo/Presidential Photo)
Duterte, for his part, asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to solve the problem in the long term and vowed to passengers to come up with a remedy within a month, the press release said.
Asked if Duterte’s surprise inspection would prompt him to dismiss any airport official, Panelo said the President has yet to announce any intention of firing any officials.
“He has not made any announcement. Maybe in the Cabinet meeting tonight he will make some announcement or will discuss the problem there or the department head may discuss it with us,” Panelo said.
Aside from Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines chief Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence Go, Rep. Martin Romualdez, and Davao businessman Sammy Uy also accompanied the President’s inspection.
Romualdez is among the aspirants for the House Speakership post.
Other aspirants include former Speaker and reelected Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, and Taguig 1st District Rep.-elect Alan Peter Cayetano.
Panelo, however, reiterated that the President will not interfere with the House Speakership race and that Romualdez was also present since he also came from Gaisano’s wake. (PNA)