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Cebu Pacific Apologizes to VP Leni Robredo for Pilot's Viral Post

There was no basis for the post, the airline said.
by The reportr team
May 17, 2022
Photo/s: Facebook/Antonio Trillanes

(UPDATE) Cebu Pacific on Tuesday apologized to Vice President Leni Robredo after one of its pilots accused her of disrupting NAIA traffic with a request for priority landing.

The pilot had admitted that there was "no basis for his claim" and that the post was "purely speculative and careless on his part", said Cebu Pacific Vice President for flight operations Sam Avila.

"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 apologize unreservedly to the Vice President and the general public for the actions of our pilot," Avila 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," he said.


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The Office of the Vice President on Tuesday also denied the allegation in the post, calling it a "malicious fabrication."

"During her entire tenure as Vice President, VP Leni has never asked to be prioritized for taking off or landing when traveling by air. Any claim to the contrary is a lie," it said in a statement.

The pilot is under disciplinary review, Cebu Pacific said, adding it has "very strict social media policies covering all of its employees and such a post should not have been published".

The country's largest carrier said late Monday after the Facebook post went viral that it was working with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and that the matter would be dealt with internally.

In the post that was eventually taken down, the pilot said the vice president sought priority landing "last month", or during the homestretch of the presidential campaign

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The airline said late Monday after the post went viral that employees are bound by a "robust" social media policy, its own code of discipline and data privacy laws.

"Sensitive company information and operational details must not be disclosed publicly – even when factual and more so, if erroneous to prevent the spread of disinformation," the airline said.

Robredo placed second in the May 9 vote, getting nearly half of the 31 million votes that propeled her rival, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, to the first majority win in a presiddential election since democracy was restored in 1986.

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