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AIR TRAFFIC FIASCO

Airports back to normal; DOTr not ruling out sabotage


Airports have returned to their normal operations after the delays and cancellations of flights due to the glitch in the air navigation facility on New Year's Day, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said Thursday.

"Sa ngayon, normal operations na tayo sa ating mga paliparan and wala naman tayong nakikitang problema sa ngayon," Bautista said in an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita.

(Right now, we already have normal operations in our airports and we have not seen any problems.)

At least 282 flights were canceled, diverted, or delayed on Sunday, New Year's Day due to the incident, affecting some 56,000 passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Transportation officials attributed the incident to an "outdated" system.

Bautista, however, said they are not ruling out sabotage as one of the possibilities behind what happened.

"Isa 'yan sa puwede nating i-consider kasi dapat lahat isama natin for consideration [We are considering that because all possibilities should be included for consideration]," he said.

At least five Senate resolution have been filed seeking a probe into the incident. Senate Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, said she intends to call for a hearing on January 12.

Malacañang said a thorough probe is being done by concerned agencies.

According to Bautista, the Department of Transportation is ready to face the Senate investigation.

"Handa kami. Pini-prepare na namin 'yung report at magsa-submit kami ng mga documents na ire-require nila sa amin [We are ready. We are now preparing the report and will submit the documents that they would require from us]," he said. —KBK, GMA Integrated News