Ka Ray Punongbayan, 9 others, killed in PAF Huey helicopter crash

Ka Ray, thank you for everything. may your soul rest in peace...

Ex-Phivolcs chief, 8 others killed in helicopter crash
Posted 01:28pm (Mla time) April 28, 2005
Inquirer News Service, INQ7.net, GMA7, Agence France-Presse


(3rd UPDATE) NINE people, including the former head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), were killed when a Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter they were riding crashed on the mountains of Nueva Ecija province, reports culled by INQ7.net said Thursday.
The remains of seven of the nine bodies that were recovered from the crash site arrived at the Villamor Air Base Thursday afternoon, GMA Network radio station dzBB said. They have not been identified.

The report also said search and retrieval operations were stopped due to bad weather.

Former Phivolcs head Raymundo Punongbayan was with four Phivolcs staff, two pilots, and two crewmembers, when their US-made Bell UH-1H helicopter crashed near Gabaldon town, Nueva Ecija, Renato Solidum Jr., Phivolcs director, said in separate interviews on radio and Agence France-Presse.

Punongbayan's son, Eric, told INQ7.net that the family was in the process of making burial arrangements.

Solidum and a Phivolcs statement identified the Phivolcs staff as Dr. Jessie Daligdig, 44; Dindo Javier, 41; Orlando Abengoza, 49; and Dr. Norman Tungol, 40, chief of the Phivolc's geology and geophysics research and development division.

A dzBB report identified the two pilots as First Lieutenants Reynaldo Gerrodias and Jason Salazar and the two crewmembers as Staff Sergeants Edgar Ramolete and Wilbert Tacatac.

Senator Richard Gordon said in a live dzBB interview that he was supposed to be with the Philvolcs team on that mission.

Gordon, chairman of the Filipino Red Cross chapter, said on local television that Punongbayan had inspected the resettlement area by land last week.

"He said he identified potential areas of danger (of further landslides) and he wanted to confirm it by air. So I went to Secretary (Avelino) Cruz of the Department of National Defense to borrow a helicopter," Gordon added.

Meanwhile, Major Augusto dela Pe?a of the Philippine Air Force Public Information Office told the same radio station that all Air Force helicopters had been grounded.

"I received a message from the Office of Civil Defense that unfortunately, all the passengers died," said Solidum in an earlier interview with Agence France-Presse.

"The aircraft exploded but we don't know if it was upon impact or while in mid-air," said Senior Inspector Pablo Cruz, police chief of Gabaldon, who was among the first at the crash scene.

The aircraft was en route to the mountainous town of Dingalan in Aurora province to determine whether the area was suitable for building new houses following deadly landslides last year.

"They were on a mission to conduct [an] ocular inspection," said Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Restituto Padilla.

Dela Pe?a said the helicopter took off from Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija at around 8:41 a.m.

Earlier on Thursday, Gabaldon Mayor Dominador Mandia, in a telephone interview with Inquirer News Service, said a councilor who was coordinating a project near the crash site reported the incident to him at about 11 a.m.

With reports from Joel Francis Guinto, Klara A?onuevo, Paul Xymon Garcia, Jum Balea, INQ7.net; Anselmo Roque and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer News Service; GMA7; and Agence France-Presse


  • leon azcarragaleon azcarraga Member PExer
    Condolence po sa mga pamilya ng pangyayaring ito.
  • kelunjikelunji Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Farewell boss. Even in death you were in the headlines.
  • mac_bolan00mac_bolan00 Banned by Admin PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    first of all, kelunji, i'm glad to see you're ok.

    dr. raymundo punongbayan graduated BS Geology from UP-Diliman and obtained his PhD from the Colorado School of Mines. he was department chairman of geology at the UP college of arts and sciences from 1982 to 1984. Geology 112 (structural geology) was his specialty and i spent one semester stumbling over rocks and logs in montalban, rizal with his class. he was very active in alumni activities, being president of the UPGAA in the early 1990s. the Inquirer named him Filipino of the Year in 1991, in recognition of his outstanding work during the mount pinatubo eruption.

    dr. jessie daligdig was my fraternity brother. he was several years ahead of me and we interacted only in fraternity matters. but we became good friends then and he accepted his role as a senior frat brother and advisor, giving me all kinds of advice right after graduation.

    nothing more from me besides, "so long sir. thank you for the gift. so long brod. and good work!"
  • kelunjikelunji Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Farewell Brod Jessie.
  • globalhegemonglobalhegemon King Crap PExer
    Maraming salamat Punongbayan! The Filipino people will always remember your good deeds esp. nung time ng Pinatubo disaster and awareness re: volcanic disasters and earthquakes. RIP.

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