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Military rules out attack on cargo plane in Sulu crash

The military on Sunday ruled out speculations that an attack downed a C-130 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Sulu before 12 noon, where at least 17 people were killed and 40 others were hurt.

In an interview on Super Radyo DZBB, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said an initial report showed that the plane tried to recover but eventually crashed in Barangay Bangkal in Patikul town.

An investigation on the incident is ongoing, Arevalo added. 

"Initially, ang sinabi nagkaroon ng problema ang pag-approach sa paglapag. Nag-attempt na ma-recover subalit nawalan ng power. Ito ay initial na report very sketchy kaya hangga't maaari we cannot provide details yet," Arevalo said.

(It was said the plane had a problem as it made an approach to land. There was an attempt to try to recover but power went out. But the report is still sketchy and we can't provide details yet.)

"We are saying this, so far, to rule out sa mga itinatanong sa akin na mga kasamahan sa media, kung mayroon bang  pag-atake na pagganap," he added.

(We are saying this as we rule out an attack based on queries from the media.)

As for now, rescue operation is the focus of the military after the tragedy, Arevalo also said.

Earlier, AFP chief General Cirilito Sobejana  said most passengers were military personnel who were to be assigned to the Philippine Army's 11th Infantry Batallion's Joint Task Force Sulu after graduating recently from their basic military course.

PAF said rescue efforts are ongoing. —LBG, GMA News