MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will “most likely” visit Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, and others who are recuperating in a hospital after figuring in a helicopter crash on Thursday morning.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he did not know when Duterte would visit but assumed that it would be after Gamboa has had enough rest.
“Most likely, ganun naman si Presidente (the President is like that),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Duterte is known to visit and give assistance to injured soldiers and police officers and has been vocal about his gratitude for their service.
Panelo said the Palace was “shocked” to hear the news about the helicopter accident but was also glad that Gamboa and some of his companions only sustained minor injuries.
The PNP Public Information Office said Gamboa and his seven companions were on board a police chopper after inspecting the impounding area of the Highway Patrol Group (HGP) when it crashed in San Pedro, Laguna.
Also on board the helicopter that was heading for Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba were PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac; director for Comptrollership, Maj. Gen. Jovic Ramos; and director for Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, among others.
Gamboa and five other injured police officials are recuperating at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.
However, two police generals at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City are in critical condition.
Reports showed that the accident was caused by the helicopter getting in contact with a high-tension wire due to poor visibility.
Panelo also shrugged off claims that the recent incident would make Duterte reconsider his penchant for using choppers to reach his destinations quickly.
“The President always says, ‘If it’s my time, it’s my time.’ Fatalistic siya e (He’s fatalistic),” he said.
To recall, Duterte made the same remark despite hurting his hip and sustaining light bruises and scratches on the elbow and knee following a minor motorcycle mishap on October 16 last year.
Despite a history of health problems caused by motorcycle crashes, the President said he would never stop riding.
“Hindi ako maghihinto dahil pag maghihinto ako, mabuti pang mamatay na lang. Wala na eh. Kung wala na ring kaligayahan yung buhay mo, mabuti pang mamatay na (I won’t stop riding motorcycles because if I do, I’d rather be dead. There’s no point. If there’s no joy in life, I’m better off dead),” Duterte said in the taped interview with GMA’s Unang Hirit in December 2019. (ia/PNA)