Quezon gov, 5 others die in ’copter crash
By JAY CHUA and VICTOR REYES | Malaya.com | MAY 18, 2010
OUTGOING Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes and five others, including two children, died after their helicopter crashed yesterday afternoon into a subdivision in Lucena City.
Alfonso Cusi, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said Nantes died along with two security escorts and the pilot of the four-seater helicopter of Lion Air, with body number RP-C2550. ...
Cusi said two children died on the spot after they were pinned by the helicopter when it hit the ground and burned five houses. Col. Generoso Bolina, Solcom spokesman, said the helicopter crashed at around 3:15 p.m. at Jael subdivision in Barangay Iyam barely 300 meters away from where it took off. Cusi, quoting sketchy reports from Lucena City, said the helicopter took off from the Quezon National Hospital bound for Manila when it suddenly went down after being airborne for only two minutes.
It fell on a row of houses that immediately caught fire. ...
Cusi sent members of the Aircraft Investigation Board to determine the cause of the crash. Bolina said some witnesses claimed that the helicopter exploded. He said an investigation would reveal if the aircraft was sabotaged.
Nantes sought re-election as Quezon governor under the Liberal Party, where he was treasurer, but lost to David Suarez of the administration Lakas-Kampi CMD.
Excerpt: "Chopper crash kills Nantes" | Business Mirror | 17 May 2010
Nantes was in the news two days before the elections after reports said he faced investigation for a major drug bust in a coastal area in Quezon where, critics had alleged, it was unlikely he had no knowledge of such a major criminal operation in his constituency.
Rival parties said Nantes should be investigated, as he is the chief fundraiser of the LP [Liberal Party], if only to quell suspicion that drug money may have played a role in the campaign. Both Nantes and the LP vehemently disputed the speculation, describing it as the “desperate act” of politicians fearing the impending landslide victory of LP standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III.
Nantes held a news conference the other day and addressed all issues about the drug bust. ...
The Drug Allegations Proved to be False and Malicious, the Election, Nantes said, Stolen - Q: Was He Murdered, as Well?
PASG: NO DRUG HAUL IN QUEZON
By Paolo Romero | The Philippine Star | May 13, 2010
MANILA, Philippines - The Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) denied yesterday that it has linked Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes to the reported illegal drug trade in the province. ...
Nantes accuses rival of massive cheating
By Gemi Formaran
16 May 2010
LUCENA City – Quezon Gov. Raffy Nantes accused his winning rival of massive black propaganda by linking him and Liberal Party standard bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III into an illegal drug shipment to insure his defeat.
“They have long prepared a grand design to insure my defeat in the elections through rampant vote-buying using national government funds, massive black propaganda by enlisting some national dailies which published before and on election day itself about alleged illegal drugs shipment in Quezon, and a ‘vote steal’ through replaced computer memory card which all led to my electoral loss,” Nantes said during a press conference.
Disputing published reports about an alleged drug raid in Quezon supposedly undertaken by the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group, Nantes showed a certification from the PASG headed by director Jeffrey Patawaran that a pearl farm, not a drug laboratory, was found in Icolong Island in Burdeos town. The certification also said the PASG never accused Nantes and Aquino of drug involvement.
PASG officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary Danilo Mangila said the operation against smuggling in Quezon has been used by some politicians as a grand black propaganda material against their rivals.
Mangila said the PASG operatives found chemicals for farm fertlizers in Icolong Island, not drugs. ...
His rival, David “Jayjay” Suarez, and runningmate Vicente “Kulit” Alcala of Lakas-Kampi, were proclaimed by provincial election supervisor Allan Enriquez.
- Alex Constantine