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A Hercules Goes Missing As The GRP-MILF Faceoff Continues

August 26, 2008

It is a sad day for the military, the Philippine Air Force in particular, as it has apparently lost one of its prized assets, a Lockheed C-130  medium lift transport.

The limited-detail reports are saying the multi-role plane could have gone down in bad weather early last night in the Davao Gulf with 9 crew members aboard.

Ironically the Hercules was simply on a routine shuttle trip to Iloilo. Its intended passengers: men from the Presidential Security Group.

Our hearts certainly go out to the family of the missing, so this question must be asked: why did such a valuable asset have to be used to ferry just PSG men who could easily have been booked on the numerous commercial flights between Iloilo and Manila?

To save on money? This while more expensive chartered flights are nonchalantly booked regularly for junketing government VIPs and hangers-on on courtesy of Juan dela Cruz and funded through contingency and pork barrel kitties?

Why, oh why does the already ill-equipped Air Force have to lose a Hercules right in the middle of the conflict in Mindanao when troop, supply, and medical evacuation and related mercy missions are surely in high demand?

Update:

As of 2:30 p.m. the Air Force is reporting that a fisherman has pointed to the possible area where the Hercules went down and that combat boots and pieces of human remains have been found. A disturbing statement from authorities is that they cannot, as yet, the rule out the possibility that the plane, which was about 1,500 meters in the air, “could have been shot down by rebel elements.”

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