FA-50 jets back in harness in Marawi

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Air Force’s FA-50 fighter jets, which had been grounded following a “friendly fire” incident that killed two soldiers on the ground in Marawi, are now back in action conducting new air strikes against members of the Maute terror group in the war-torn city.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the planes are back in harness again by the military.

Last month, the military stopped FA-50 flights after two soldiers were killed in an air strike accident that also wounded some government troops.

As part of standard operating procedure, the fighter jets were grounded to give way to the investigation to determine the cause of the friendly fire incident.

“Based on initial investigation, no fault was found on the part of the aircraft and pilots,” Arevalo said.

He noted that there would be adjustments in some of the techniques, tactics and procedures concerning air strikes to prevent similar accidents.

Arevalo, however, stressed that he cannot reveal what changes or adjustments will be made but gave assurance that the FA-50s are safe.

“It’s high time for us to put to use once more this FA-50 after having gone through the initial investigation and, like what we said before there was no defect in the plane or pilots,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the Anakpawis party-list group was among the persons who were caught manufacturing improvised explosives devise (IEDs), believed to be part of the plan to further sow violence in Marawi City and nearby areas.

Speaking at the regular Mindanao Hour, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said a large cache of explosives was seized from two suspected rebels in Bukidnon.

Padilla said one of the two individuals caught in Bukidnon “bore a party-list ID from – if I’m not mistaken – Anakpawis.”

He said the NPA is out to conduct more offensive operations against government forces and disrupt the peace and order situation in Mindanao as a result of President Duterte’s decision to abandon peace talks with the Reds.

The AFP is conducting a through investigation on the background of the two arrested rebels – who are brothers – before they will forward a report to the House of Representatives for necessary action from Congress. – With Christina Mendez

vuukle comment
  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with