SENATOR JV Ejercito yesterday renewed his call to buy new helicopters for the Philippine National Police (PNP) following the crash of an Air Force chopper carrying 12 police officials in Palawan Tuesday.
“Last Tuesday’s crash landing of the Air Force Sokol helicopter in Palawan which carried police officials stresses the need of the PNP to acquire new helicopters,” said Ejercito in a statement.
He reiterated his appeal to the Senate Committee on Finance to provide a sufficient budget to the PNP in order for them to purchase at least two to three brand new choppers.
“It is unfortunate that the PNP currently does not have any single flying air asset. This is a necessity, not a luxury. This will be essential in fighting crime and maintaining peace and order,” Ejercito stressed.
Four passengers were injured after an Air Force Sokol 926, carrying 12 persons including PNP officials, crashed in a ricefield in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, on Tuesday afternoon due to a mechanical problem.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Cherryl Tindog said Air Force Sokol 926 left for a reconnaissance or probing flight at around 2:00 p.m.
The chopper experienced a mechanical problem and crash landed near Sitio Sabang, Bgy Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City. The passengers reportedly suffered only minor injuries.
The six other Sokol helicopters of the PAF were grounded while investigation is ongoing.