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Nation

Clark airport’s chief engineer slain

Ding Cervantes, Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – Clark International Airport’s aviation engineering chief was killed in an attack that also left his wife wounded in Sta. Ignacia town, Tarlac yesterday morning.

The killing of Ruel Angeles, 55, occurred amid reported issues involving the bidding for the procurement of a P250-million Instrument Landing System (ILS) for the airport.

Angeles died at the scene from five gunshot wounds. His wife Rosenia, 56, was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) vice president for operations Reynaldo Catacutan, who rushed to Tarlac after hearing the incident.

Reports said Angeles, Rosenia and their grandson were in a Toyota Innova with license plate SRJ-562 when the attack occurred at around 7 a.m. in Barangay Padapada.

The victim was about to drop off his wife and their grandson at the boy's school before going to work when one of two men, who were drying palay along the road, waylaid them.

“They were about 150 meters from their home when one of two men approached their vehicle and shot Ruel, who was driving,” Catacutan said.

He said despite being shot, Angeles managed to drive the vehicle farther but the assailant followed them and fired more shots, hitting Rosenia.

Angeles suffered five gunshot wounds, including one near the left ear and in the chest. The couple’s grandson was not hurt in the incident.

CIAC president and chief executive officer Emigdio Tanjuatco declined to comment on whether Angeles’ murder was job-related.

Catacutan said he did not believe so. He said Angeles was in charge of maintaining the ILS, which the airport has been using for the past 18 years. A bidding for the procurement of a new ILS was set on Nov. 14.

Tanjuatco said the ILS use is limited to 10 to 15 years.

“I’ve been with the CIAC for only a month. On the day the board elected me as president, the bidding for a new ILS was already set,” Tanjuatco said.

While the old ILS still functions, Tanjuatco said a new one is needed as international airport safety rules require a limited time for ILS use.

Catacutan said a bidding for the ILS was held in November last year, with the firm Evercon winning the bid. But other bidders protested the project's classification as infrastructure, saying it should be reclassified as “supply delivery.”

ANGELES BARANGAY PADAPADA CATACUTAN CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CORP EMIGDIO TANJUATCO ILS INSTRUMENT LANDING SYSTEM ROSENIA TANJUATCO
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