• AFP verifying reports of Mindanao ‘plane crash’

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    COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The military establishment at the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) at Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Monday said the plane crash that supposed to have occurred last Sunday at the border of Central Min-danao particularly the areas adjoining Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces is still speculation.

    Captain Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6ID, said they have no clue yet on the type of aircraft that reportedly crashed.

    “There is no debris has been found and no aircraft was reported missing,” Petinglay told The Manila Times.

    She added that the soldiers sent to check the reported crash site, where people in surrounding tribal settlements were said to have heard a powerful blast after the flying object hit the ground, have not found anything yet.

    Petinglay said the 6th ID under its commanding general, Major Gen. Edmundo Pangi-linan dispatched on Sunday afternoon a platoon of combatants from the 33rd Infantry Battalion, backed by volunteers from the local government units of the municipality of Espe-ranza, Sultan Kudarat, to scour a hinterland at the border of the municipality with South Upi town in Maguindanao, where the explosion was heard.

    Petinglay said the search team did not proceed to the area after dusk Sunday due to heavy rains.

    “The search mission continued Monday morning and we have not received any update yet from the team,” Petinglay said.

    The 6ID spokesperson had asked Central Mindanao folks not to speculate but to wait patiently after military’s investigation is over on the crash phenomenon.

    The explosion was reportedly most felt at the adjoining Barangay Flamingo in Espe-ranza and the Datar Fait area, a Teduray tribal enclave in South Upi in the second district of Maguindanao.

    Text messages have been circulating in Central Mindanao and even at Facebook since late Sunday purporting that the flying object that fell from space could be the unmanned Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) spacecraft of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States government, which might have fallen out of orbit and crashed.

    Air Force units in Mindanao have denied confirming it was a TRMM, asserting pilots are not done yet with their probe sorties.

    “We don’t even have any statement yet from the national government and even from NASA so far,” Petinglay further said.

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