Philippine pilot in hot water over ‘baseless’ post against VP Robredo

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): A Cebu Pacific Air pilot is under disciplinary review after he posted an unfounded claim against Vice President Leni Robredo (pic).

The pilot earlier lambasted Robredo on social media site Facebook, alleging that the vice president caused flight diversions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after requesting that her flight be prioritised.

Robredo, as vice president, is among the three persons who have a privilege of having landing and takeoff priority. The two others are the President, and the Senate President.

“Since becoming aware of the social media post by one of our pilots in reference to a flight of Vice President Leni Robredo, I confirm that the pilot has made it clear to us that he had no basis for his claim and was purely speculative and careless on his part,” Cebu Pacific Air Flight Operations Vice President Captain Sam Avila said in a statement.

“Cebu Pacific has very strict social media policies covering all of its employees and such a post should not have been published. This is recognised by the said pilot himself. He is currently under disciplinary review in accordance with our Company rules and standards,” he likewise shared.

Avila likewise apologised to Robredo and the public for the pilot’s action.

“While the pilot posted his commentary on his own accord, a post he has since removed, on behalf of Cebu Pacific, and as Head of our Pilot Group, I take command responsibility and apologise unreservedly to the Vice President and the general public for the actions of our pilot,” he said.

“As professional aviators and free citizens of this country, we are free to express opinions, but we are also expected to carry out our roles and duties with utmost discernment and caution,” added Avila.

Robredo, a presidential candidate, earlier said that disinformation and fake news remain as the biggest challenge to her bid for the country’s highest post.

Preliminary findings of, an academe-based fact-checking initiative, said that Robredo is the “biggest victim” of disinformation.

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