President Benigno Aquino III should acquire an "Air Force One" and beef up the government’s fleet of aircraft to protect himself and the members of his Cabinet, Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III said Monday.
“I have told them to shun criticisms and get an aircraft for the President. I have said that it is about time to upgrade the airplanes being used by our government officials,” Sotto said.
Sotto lamented the unfortunate plane crash involving Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the two pilots last Saturday.
“They should no longer think twice about it or be swayed by criticisms because the safety of the President and his cabinet members should be our primordial concern,” the majority leader said.
“Look at what happened, you are the DILG secretary, and he should have had his own chopper or aircraft to go around the country,” Sotto added.
Robredo is not the first top government official to be involved in a plane crash. During the time of ex-president and Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former press secretary Jose Capadocia was killed in a helicopter crash in Benguet.
As this developed, Sotto said the Commission on Appointments (CA) would have set the confirmation hearing for Robredo on August 29.
Sotto, chairperson of the CA subcommittee on local government said the initial CA hearing last Wednesday was postponed due to the request of some congressmen who wanted to be present during the necrological services for Sorsogon Rep. Sonny Escudero.
According to Sotto, the CA was supposedly to be re-scheduled to Wednesday, August 22, but Robredo himself asked that the hearing be postponed to a later date because he would not be available this week.