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Presidential plane for wounded troops

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The presidential plane has started operating as an air ambulance for troops wounded in the battle in Marawi City after President Duterte decided to give up such travel privilege.

At least nine wounded troops rode the presidential Fokker F-28 aircraft to Manila for treatment last Tuesday night, according to the Malacañang.

The President offered the use of his plane to ferry the wounded soldiers after trying to boost the morale of the troops confined in a military hospital in Cagayan de Oro City. He boarded an ambulance with the soldiers on the way to the airport and later posed for photographs inside the aircraft.

The soldiers were among the 90 combatants injured in the fighting in Marawi in the past few days.

Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla has thanked the President for allowing the use of his plane to shuttle wounded troops to Manila for treatment.

“I’d like to give notice that as the President has promised for the use of his presidential aircraft last (Tuesday) night on our way back to Manila from Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, those who were required by our medical professionals to be evacuated to Manila, used the presidential aircraft and other aircraft of the Air Force to be transported to Manila,” Padilla said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañang yesterday.

“We’d like to pass on the thanks of our Armed Forces on behalf of the Chief of Staff and the wounded warriors that we brought to Manila for further treatment,” he said.