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Phl joins search for missing Malaysian jet

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - March 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has joined its neighboring countries searching for the Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing while en route to Beijing over the weekend, a Palace official said yesterday.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told dzRB that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had directed the Armed Forces to commence patrol of the West Philippine Sea.

Gazmin said after the reported disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane last Saturday, naval ships BRP Gregorio del Pilar, BRP Apolinario Mabini and BRP Emilio Jacinto; a Fokker plane, and an Islander plane were sent to help locate the plane.

The Armed Forces Western Command also said the military is using two multi-purpose attack craft and rubber boats for the search.

Lt. Gen Roy Deveraturda, Western Command chief, said searchers have yet to report any sighting.

“There are no words yet confirming any sightings, and the probability is very slim. But who knows, that’s why we are participating in the search,” he said.

The Malaysian Airlines plane, a Boeing 777-200, disappeared from radar screens just 40 minutes into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early Saturday.

It was last detected over the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam.

President Aquino has been updated on the inclusion of the Armed Forces in the search and rescue mission, according to Coloma. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

APOLINARIO MABINI ARMED FORCES ARMED FORCES WESTERN COMMAND BEIJING COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR. DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN EMILIO JACINTO GEN ROY DEVERATURDA KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA AIRLINES MALAYSIAN AIRLINES
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