Palace: Too early for gov’t takeover of PAL


MANILA -- Malacanang on Tuesday dismissed the possibility of taking over flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) amid problems hounding the airline.

In a press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the government has not yet discussed the option of managing the largest airline in the country despite disagreement between PAL and its pilots that resulted in disruption of several local and international flights.

“It’s too early to tell. We’re still at a level where we are mediating dialogue of the two concerned parties. So hopefully we would be able to reach an amicable settlement here,” Lacierda said.

He noted it is still a positive sign that the two opposing camps are willing to sit down and settle issues with the government in between.

The Palace aide pointed out that PAL management is trying to win back their pilots without any punitive sanctions.

He also said the government is not preparing for a worst case scenario believing that PAL issues could still be resolved through dialogues.

“No worst case scenario for now,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the Palace spokesperson clarified that their mission is to iron out the problem of PAL and some of its 25 pilots but not to meddle when it comes to filing administrative suit.

“It’s their right to file a case of breach of contract against the pilots but labas po ang gobyerno d’yan dahil ‘yan po ay may kontrata po ang piloto at saka ang PAL management. Bahala na po ang Korte—we understand na ang jurisdiction nito ay hindi ang Labor kundi po ang regular courts.”

Lucio Tan attends meeting

In the process of resolving the issues of PAL, Lacierda said the airline’s owner - business mogul Lucio Tan, was on top of the situation.

He said Tan was present during the meeting mediated by the government Monday.

“Mr. Lucio Tan came in during, siguro, past two-thirds of the meeting. He was there just as an observer; he was not actively participating. It was Mr. (Jaime) Jimmy Bautista who was there. And it was a very friendly discussion,” he recounted.

Lacierda said Tan was also mum on the situation of his airline leaving all explanations to Bautista, who is the president of PAL. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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