American billionaire and philanthropist William Henry “Bill” Gates 3rd was reportedly in the country for a “top secret” visit, The Manila Times sources and media reports said on Wednesday.
Sources at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) confirmed that the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft arrived in the country “as early as April 4” but his private aircraft went straight to the Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan.
From there, Gates and his entourage boarded a “Soriano plane”—a turbo-prop Islander aircraft—that took them to Amanpulo, an exclusive island-resort in the Pamalican Island, also in Palawan.
On Wednesday morning, Gates and his party took the same Islander aircraft for a flight to Manila. They reportedly went to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna.
A Times source said Gates’ aircraft with tail number N887WM was then flown to Manila and was seen parked at the Asian Aerospace Hangar in the General Aviation Area of the NAIA.
The news portal Interaksyon, quoting a UP Los Baños source, reported that Gates was in IRRI for at least two hours and was likely consulting with IRRI on the latest developments in rice research.