Duterte’s apology for Hong Kong a closure for RP
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - April 16, 2018 - 12:00am

For our special presentation on our talkshow on Straight from the Sky, we flew to Davao City courtesy of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for the official introduction of PAL’s latest aircraft acquisition, the Bombardier Q400 which will be used by PAL Express for PAL’s domestic routes. It was a big media bash for PAL who flew in members of the media from Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Also, PAL President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista agreed to be my guest on Straight from the Sky, which is why we all flew to Davao City.

Since this was a totally PAL affair, for the first part of our show we have with us Dr. Jimmy Bautista to talk about how PAL was able to secure a four-star rating from SkyTrax. Dr. Bautista also talks about the plans of PAL for long-haul flights, as they would soon be flying from Manila to New York non-stop on the new Airbus A-350.

I also had the golden opportunity to interview the two Bombardier executives who were also in Davao. Mr. Francois Cognard, Vice President for Sales Asia-Pacific, and Mr. Rob Burdekin, Regional Director for Customer Service Asia-Pacific. I was able to shoot a short interview with Burdekin in the cockpit of the Q400 sitting at the right seat, while I sat on the left seat. It was my first-ever interview inside the cockpit of an airplane in my 18 years in Straight from the Sky.

So please watch PAL’s Dr. Jaime Bautista and the two Bombardier officials tonight on SkyCable’s channel 53 at 8 p.m. with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9 p.m. Monday and at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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Early in his presidency in 2010, one of the things that gave Filipinos a wakeup call about the new president, Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III, was when a deranged policeman took a tourist bus with tourists from Hong Kong hostage in the Quirino Grandstand. The PNP tried to neutralize the policeman and eventually killed him in the process, but eight Hong Kong tourists were also killed. What was painful in that episode was it was covered live by CNN, BBC, and all foreign and national media, and it exposed how our policemen acted like the infamous Keystone cops of American black and white comedy in the 1930s.

Then on the following day, President PNoy Aquino had his photo taken with the bus behind him while he was smiling, something that many Filipinos did not expect from their president. Worst of all, President Aquino refused to apologize to the people of Hong Kong when the PNP is directly under the Office of the President. This was the beginning of our deteriorating relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PROC), a relation that was only restored when Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte took over the reins of the government from Pres. Aquino.

Then last Thursday Pres. Duterte apologized to the people of Hong Kong for that incident because there has been no official apology from the Philippine government. I have to salute Pres. Duterte for making this official apology so that we can have a closure on this dastardly international incident. Like I said, this incident revealed much about Pres. PNoy to those who were mesmerized by the Aquino mystique. Now they know the truth. As for me, ever since Pres. PNoy wore the yellow pin on his chest instead of the Philippine flag, that was enough for me to no longer support the Aquino Presidency. Now all his ugly problems have surfaced, like the Dengvaxia vaccine where children were exposed and died. That’s the Aquino Regime!

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Yesterday morning, nearly a hundred big bikes joined the second tribute ride for Bobby Aboitiz starting at the Cebu Country Club, passing through the Naga-Uling Road to Toledo City, then on to the shipyards of the Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (which Bobby helped establish), then the ride ended at the Kool Adventure Camp. So many big bike riders giving one Sunday ride to a good man who did so much for Cebu and yet counted big bikers among his friends.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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