The JUSTICE MADE IT! Last Plane Out

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE of the Supreme Court EDUARDO (EDSA) DELOS SANTOS recounts to the CHRONICLE editor his ordeal and that of scores of passengers in that "last plane out from Mactan."

On Sunday March 15, the last plane out of Mactan Cebu International Airport,  bound for Dumaguete with a plane load of passengers  from Manila making their last connecting flight before the Luzon-wide community quarantine ordered by President Duterte took effect,  a clearance was made from the Mactan airport tower for Cebu Pacific  for flight DG-6515 to take off for Dumagtuete.

But just when the plane load of passengers were about to  land at the Sibulan airport, the pilot  announced from his cockpit,   to the surprise passengers that the plane was going back to Mactan  because the same Flight DG-6515 did not have the clearance to land in  Sibulan airport.

What?  But the Mactan tower just announced its clearance to fly to Dumaguete ? Frantic passengers asked what will happen to them when the Cebu LOCKDOWN order will take effect? Where will they stay for the rest of the month?

AJ EDSA ON BOARD

What Cebu Pacific obviously did not know was  that among the passengers on board that “last plane out”  was no less than the new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, our very own Justice Eduardo delos Santos and his wife, who were  boarding the last plane out of Mactan and from Manila prior to the Luzon wide community quarantine.

Documenting his ordeal, as the rest of hundreds of passengers bound for Dumaguete suffered,   here is the saga of Flt DG 6515 as  written by Justice EDSA delos Santos exclusively for the CHRONICLE:

Allow me to inform you what happened to CebuPac Flight DG6515 yesterday.

Boarding Time was 10:05 am. After having seated inside the bus that would transport us to our plane, an elderly and apparently sickly woman was carried inside in a wheel chair by an airport/airline company personnel, followed by the companion. I gave up my seat to give way to her

Boarding Time was 10:05 am. After having seated inside the bus that would transport us to our plane, an elderly and apparently sickly woman was carried inside in a wheel chair by an airport/airline company personnel, followed by the companion. I gave up my seat to give way to her As we were approaching Sibulan airport, the captain or pilot announced alerting the crew to prepare for our arrival/plane’s landing.

Thereafter, the pilot gave an announcement that substantially says, he has not received any clearance/order to land and to take off(for a more accurate account, the plane’s recording of the announcement can be referred to). The pilot repeated the same announcement and added that we will be going back to Mactan airport

I could hear the verbal protests of the dismayed passengers. The sickly woman was seen crying. Before, i disembarked, i asked the lady stewardess behind me since i was seated on Seat 21D, where i could get a manifest or list of all passengers.She told me to get a copy from the ground crew.

. I told the passengers behind me to file the necessary legal action or resort to social media if they wish cause our rights as passengers has been violated by the whimsical or capricious order not allowing our plane to land, if there was any such illegal order

After deplaning, stood on the ground and trying to contact relatives and friends in Dumaguete whether the Governor issued any advisory prohibiting entry to Negros Oriental

I saw the old sickly woman ambling towards the airport without any help like a wheel chair. I was told that Gov. Degamo did not issue any advisory disallowing the entry to Negros Oriental. I went to the ground crew/front desk and requested a copy or to photocopy the passengers manifest but my request was denied, claiming that it is confidential.

Perhaps ground crew was warned by the flight stewardess over radio she was holding that i advised other passengers to get a manifest and file a case re that incident

Perhaps ground crew was warned by the flight stewardess over radio she was holding that i advised other passengers to get a manifest and file a case re that incident

Apparently, no one was manning the airport tower. What is the correct practice? Airport tower should be manned only if planes are arriving? Not at all times? What if there are cases of aircraft emergency landing? Do they have the power to disallow landing?