BI notes possible ‘clearance’ issue on ‘unauthorized’ flight of private jet from Naia
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday that there could have been a “clearance” issue on the alleged “unauthorized” departure of a private jet at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the private jet has 10 passengers. She also said that their initial verification showed that the identities of the passengers matched the information in the private craft manifest.
“Sa sampung passengers na ‘yon they were all included in the manifest so nakikita naman po nating documented. Tinanong din po natin ‘yung officer on the ground dun sa inspection na ginawa niya, kumpleto naman po at wala naman po sila derogatory record,” she said in an interview over Teleradyo.
(All 10 passengers were included in the manifest, and according to the ground officer, the inspection showed that they have no derogatory record.)
Sandoval likewise said that BI’s verification indicated that the passengers were also included in the aircraft’s general declaration.
But she noted that the BI is currently checking the passengers’ clearances.
“Nakaalis daw po ‘yung aircraft without the proper clearances. We need to clarify din po kasi there are other government agencies that gives clearances, so baka doon po sa aspetong ‘yon nagkaproblema,” Sandoval explained.
(The aircraft reportedly left without the proper clearances. We need to also clarify because there are other government agencies that give clearances, so maybe the problem came from that aspect.)
The BI spokesperson disclosed that they are coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) regarding the case.
Before Senator Grace Poe’s speech on the incident, Sandoval said media entities had already informed the BI about the matter.
On Wednesday, Poe demanded an explanation from Naia management about how eight undocumented foreigners tried to fly out of the country on Monday night despite efforts by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to stop them.
“More than just a protocol glitch, the issue digs deeper as it involves national security and human trafficking. We call on the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to explain how individuals were able to fly out of the county with just a whim of uttered clearance from an immigration officer, without an amendment of the general declaration based on proper procedures,” she said.
For its part, Sandoval said that BI is willing to face and coordinate with the Senate to resolve the issue.
“Definitely po dito po at nakikipag tulungan po tayo sa lahat ng ahente ng gobyerno para makita po natin ang isyu na ito at matuldukan kung meron po talagang kalokohang nangyari,” she said.
(We are willing to coordinate with other government agencies to resolve the matter and detect any inappropriate activities.)