By Wilnard Bacelonia

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – The Governance Commission on Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) will not hesitate to file criminal, civil, or administrative cases against Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) officials who would be found liable for the flight delays and cancellations on New Year’s Day.

GCG chairperson Alex Quiroz said on Friday it is their mandate to be transparent and responsive to the needs of the public.

“Our approach in dealing with pertinent matters such as this is brought about by our commitment to safeguard the state’s PHP10-trillion assets and prevent the dissipation and wastage of public funds arising from corruption, and improper usage of funds, if not useless expenditures,” Quiroz told the Senate Committee on Public Services, which began investigating the incident on Thursday

He vowed that they will carefully look into the cause of the glitch, whether there was negligence due to lack of foresight, as well as preventive and quality maintenance, to avoid such reoccurrence.

“At the end of the Senate investigation and if an immediate special audit is necessary, the Commission will utilize its special auditing power pursuant to Section 26 of Republic Act (RA) 10149. Rest assured, GCG will carefully evaluate whether it is necessary to file criminal, civil, or administrative cases should the results of the ongoing investigation warrant the same,” Quiroz said in a statement.

Pursuant to Section 5 of RA 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act, the GCG is the central advisory, monitoring, and oversight body to monitor and evaluate the operations of GOCCs.

The GCG had already directed CAAP to submit a written report regarding the air traffic control fiasco.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and CAAP officials have apologized while the latter vowed to upgrade its Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management system.

GCG and CAAP officials conducted an onsite inspection on Jan. 9 at the Air Traffic Management control and equipment rooms where the  unexpected technical glitch transpired.

“The CAAP was cooperative and answered all queries, as well as raised pertinent issues that their organization is facing,” Quiroz said after the inspection.

CAAP Director General Manuel Antonio Tamayo told the Senate on Thursday that they are committed “to see through this ordeal, remain transparent in all our dealings and of service to the Filipinos and ensure that our skies are safe.” (PNA)