Cebu Pacific exec sorry over pilot’s ‘purely speculative, careless’ claim vs. Robredo

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — An executive of Cebu Pacific apologized to Vice President Leni Robredo after one of their pilots made a “purely speculative” and “careless” allegation against the official.

In a now-deleted post, the pilot wrote that Robredo caused flight diversions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last month. But the budget carrier confirmed that the pilot had no basis for his claim.

“Since becoming aware of the social media post by one of our pilots in reference to a flight of Vice President Leni Robredo, I confirm that the pilot has made it clear to us that he had no basis for his claim and was purely speculative and careless on his part,” said Cebu Pacific Vice President for Flight Operations Sam Avila in a statement.

“While the pilot posted his commentary on his own accord, a post he has since removed, on behalf of Cebu Pacific, and as Head of our Pilot Group, I take command responsibility and apologize unreservedly to the Vice President and the general public for the actions of our pilot,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) released a statement late Tuesday denying the incident and tagging the claim as “a malicious fabrication”.

“During her entire tenure as Vice President, VP Leni has never asked to be prioritized for taking off or landing when traveling by air. Any claim to the contrary is a lie,” the statement read.

The OVP also expressed alarm that disinformation and fake news against the country’s second highest official continue even after the elections.

“VP Leni reiterates her commitment to take firm steps against disinformation and promote truthful public discourse," the statement added.

The outgoing vice president is currently in the United States to attend her youngest daughter’s graduation at New York University, where she is a full scholar.

Moreover, Cebu Pacific said the pilot involved is currently under disciplinary review.

“Cebu Pacific has very strict social media policies covering all of its employees and such a post should not have been published. This is recognized by the said pilot himself. He is currently under disciplinary review in accordance with our Company rules and standards,” said Avila.