Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on the plane incident in Tacloban:
At 1:37 this afternoon, a plane carrying Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr., Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista, Undersecretary Felizardo Serapio Jr., 7 staff members, 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer, and 1 steward, went off the runway at Tacloban Airport.
The aforementioned officials were on hand in Tacloban to ensure that the activities of Pope Francis in Tacloban and Palo would go as planned.
Everyone on board the plane are safe. However, some crew members were brought to the Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Center for further medical examination. The families of those on board have also been assured that their loved ones are safe.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas has informed President Aquino about the incident. The President was happy to hear that all on board were safe and directed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to investigate whether the proximate cause of the incident was weather-related or otherwise. We shall provide further updates when information becomes available.
Released January 17, 2015