MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has designated officers-in-charge (OICs) to take the helm of the offices of the two police generals who remain in critical condition following the crash of the helicopter in San Pedro, Laguna on Thursday.
In a press briefing at the St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Taguig City, PNP Director for Police Community Relations, Maj. Gen. Benigno Durana Jr., said the national police chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa designated Brig. Gen. Ronnie Olay and Brig. Gen. Jesus Cambay as OICs of the Directorate for Comptrollership and Directorate for Intelligence, respectively.
This came as Major Generals Jovic Ramos and Mariel Magaway are now at the intensive care unit (ICU) of two hospitals.
“The two were now critical in condition and (Ramos) was placed in ICU while the other (Magaway) placed in critical care. The next 48 hours will be critical,” Durana told reporters.
He, however, said they are not aware of the extent of the injury sustained by the two police officials.
“However, (Maj. Gen.) Magaway is already responding (to treatment). I hope this will go on. We storm heaven with our prayers,” he added.
The two were brought to Unihealth Southwoods Hospital and Medical Center in Barangay San Francisco, Biñan City in Laguna.
Magaway was later transferred to the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City while Ramos remains at Unihealth.
The other passengers of the ill-fated chopper were Gamboa, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, Gamboa’s aide Capt. Kevin Gayramara, pilots Lt. Col. Roel Zalatar and Lt. Col. Rico Macawili, and crew member Senior Master Sgt. Luis Estona. They are in stable condition at the SLMC.
Durana, however, said they are under observation for the next 48 hours.
Gamboa, in a separate radio interview, said he will return to work on Monday and urged the public to refrain from spreading videos and photos of the incident.
“To the public and especially to fellow police officers, I came out to show you that I’m fine. Instead of spreading pictures of the incident, just help us pray for those who remain at the hospital. Again to give warning to everyone that no matter what the PNP would always enforce the law no matter what it takes. Magandang gabi (Good evening),” he said.
Initial reports said the helicopter carrying Gamboa and seven others crashed in Barangay San Antonio in San Pedro, Laguna at 8 a.m. after hitting a high tension wire.
A special investigation task group (SITG) “Bell 429” was formed to probe the crash. (PNA)