THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) is prepared to take over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at the command of President Rodrigo Duterte, a military official said on Friday, June 28, 2019.
“For the PAF lagi naman kaming prepared halimbawa po we will be directed by the President to take over Naia wala naman problema dun dahil ang PAF laging handa for the security and support of our countrymen,” PAF spokesperson Major Aristides Galang said.
(For PAF, we are always prepared. If the President orders us to take over Naia, we are prepared to provide security and support to our countrymen.)
He said the PAF has enough personnel and reserved forces who may be deployed at the country's main gateway.
“Meron naman enough personnel. Flexible naman ang command for aligning our personnel if magkakaroon ng utos sa taas,” he said.
However, he said they have yet to receive a formal communication regarding the matter from the Malacañang.
On Wednesday, June 26, Duterte said during his speech at the 122nd anniversary of the Presidential Security Group that he might order the PAF to take over Naia if security issues at the airport are not addressed within a month.
"I am issuing a warning. If that Naia is not — the security is not improved there — I will order the Air Force to take over. You must remember I declared a national emergency when I started as president. And I would invoke it," he said.
"Napakadisgrasya 'yan kung may mangyari diyan. Talo tayo lahat diyan. (It would be a disaster if something happens there. We will all lose)," he added.
He made the statement following the conduct of a surprise inspection at the Naia Terminal 2 on June 10 following numerous complaints over flight cancellations and diversions reportedly due to lightning alerts which suspended operations at the airport. (SunStar Philippines)