By Prof. Rolando Borrinaga
First Posted 07:47:00 01/22/2015
1. Executive jet with Aquino Cabinet officials on board crashed while trying to take off from Tacloban Airport during the storm after the Papal Visit on January 17, 2015. The pilots and passengers were unhurt.
2. A yacht of Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez caught fire at sea off Brgy. Verginia, Culaba in Biliran while sailing from Tacloban to Manila today, January 21. The 8 crew members are safe at Culaba RHU. The boat reportedly left Tacloban at 7:00 am and sent a distress call at 12:40 pm.
A helicopter has already picked up the ill-fated crew from Culaba.
Officials at the Biliran Provincial Capitol disputed and then clarified that the yacht allegedly belongs to Philip Romualdez, and not to Rep. FM Romualdez. Philip is the older brother of the congressman.
The field reporters of biliranisland.com are under extreme pressure to alter some facts they had initially gathered about the burning yacht. So the site posted some errata for the disputed facts, without necessarily deleting the previous posts. Already, the ownership of the yacht is put in doubt. We leave it to other media sectors to clarify this.
According to a Biliran Capitol official, the yacht’s name in MV Lobenico. The nine (not 8) crew members who landed in Culaba reportedly included Captain Ronald Salmoren; chief mate, Gregorio Booc; chief engineer, Neil Abatayo; electrician, Eugene Orge; AB, Joel Sotomayor; AB, Melody de San Jose; oiler, Manny Azul; oiler, James Sotomayor; and cook/steward, Adrian Goballa.
An informant of bi.com sent the attached photo of the alleged yacht MV Lobenico that caught fire at sea off Culaba, Biliran. The photo has a helicopter on the helipad at the stern of the yacht.
A former student who attended to the crew in Culaba claimed on Facebook that they were rescued and brought to town by local fishermen.