Sat. Mar 6th, 2021

MANILA – PNP chief, Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa was discharged from the St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Taguig City on Friday afternoon after sustaining injuries in a helicopter crash in San Pedro, Laguna on Thursday.

Acting PNP spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Benigno Durana Jr., said Gamboa left the hospital at around 5:30 p.m.

“Oo, siguro mga 5:30. Palagay ko sa basement (dumaan) kaya di nyo na napansin (Yes, around 5:30 p.m. I think he left through the basement exit so we were not able to notice),” Durana told reporters.

Meanwhile, Gamboa’s aide, Capt. Kevin Gayramara, was also discharged from the hospital around 4:30 p.m.

Gamboa is likely to stay at the PNP White House at Camp Crame and will be guarded by the staff of the PNP General Hospital.

Aboard the chopper were Gamboa, Gayramara, Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway, Director for Intelligence; Maj. Gen. Jose Ma. Victor Ramos, Director for Comptrollership; Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson; pilots Lt. Col. Roel Zalatar and Lt. Col. Rico Macawili; and chopper crew Senior Master Sgt. Louie Estona.

Durana said Banac may be discharged from the SLMC on Saturday.

He said Magaway is now responsive to treatment at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa.

Meanwhile, doctors have already stopped blood transfusion to Ramos who remains unconscious and in critical condition at the intensive care unit of the Unihealth Southwoods Hospital and Medical Center in Laguna.

There is no date yet for the release of the chopper staff, he added.

Crash witnesses urged to give photos, videos

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and head of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), is urging witnesses to help authorities in their investigation of the chopper crash.

“We would like to request and announce to the public, especially to residents near the area. If you have seen any parts or debris of the helicopter, whether near the area or far, please take a photo and report it to the police. This will form part of the evidence that we have. (Also) We would like to request the public to provide videos of the crash. This will help in our investigation,” Eleazar told reporters on the sidelines of the SITG’s inspection in San Pedro, Laguna.

Eleazar said they would make use of existing pieces of evidence, which include statements of witnesses, first responders, and passengers, in probing the accident.

The results of the initial investigation will be forwarded to the SITG, which will be used as a basis in their probe.

In the coming days, he said they will invite resource persons including the survivors of the crash, first responders, and witnesses to determine what really transpired during the incident.

The helicopter hit a high-tension wire upon take-off due to poor visibility caused by thick dust, causing it to crash in Barangay San Antonio at around 8 a.m. Thursday. (PNA)

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