From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 20): Pilot killed after his spray plane was peppered with bullets in Surigao del Sur
BUTUAN CITY – A pilot of spray plane was killed when unidentified armed men peppered the plane with bullets from unknown automatic rifles in Purok 7, Sitio Gruttoi, Barangay Malixi, Tagbina town, Surigao del Sur, a flash report reaching the police regional headquarters here yesterday said.
This Agricultural Aircraft from DASNA Farms Aviation, Inc. with body number RP-R8865 AG-CATG164A1300 was conducting an aerial spray of the banana plantation of SUMIFRU (Philippine) when peppered with unknown automatic rifles from the ground by unidentified armed men. The pilot managed to return the plane to its hangar in Barangay Sta. Fe, Tagbina town, Surigao del Sur on Sunday, March 19, 2018, however, the pilot of the spray plane died while on the way to a hospital in Agusan del Sur. (Photos courtesy of PRO 13/Manila Bulletin)
Initial report received by the tactical and command center of Police regional Office 13 (PRO 13) at Camp Col. Rafael C. Rodriguez here from Surigao del Sur Police Provincial office (PPO) stated the Agricultural Aircraft from DASNA Farms Aviation Inc. with body number RP-R8865 AG-CATG164A1300 piloted by Lynbert G. Laguda, 65 was conducting an aerial spray at the banana plantation of SUMIFRU (Philippines) when series of gun fires from the ground hit the spray plane while also hitting the body of the pilot.
“The spray plane was shot several times with unknown caliber piercing the aircraft and hitting the pilot,” the initial report of Surigao del Sur PPO director Senior Supt. Francisco D. Dungo Jr. to PRO 13 regional director Chief Supt. Noli A. Romana.
The incident happened at 8:04 a.m. on Sunday, it said.
The area of incident is a communist-New People’s Army-influenced area and about 12 kilometers away from Tagbina Municipal Police Station (MPS) of that same province, the Surigao del Sur PPO report said.
“The pilot was able to contact his co-worker on the ground regarding the incident and managed to maneuver the plane and return to its hangar in Barangay Sta. Fe, Tagbina town of that same province and the pilot was rushed to Butuan City for medical treatment but while traveling along the way at the vicinity of Prosperidad town, Agusan del Sur the pilot died,” the Surigao del Sur PPO report added.
The pilot was a resident of Arujville Subdivision, Barangay Libertad, Butuan City.
On March 26, 2017, the same incident also happened when unidentified armed men also fired at a plane while conducting an aerial spray in the same banana plantation in Tagbina town of that same province, Tagbina MPS said.
As of this posting, the Tagbina MPS, along with the probe team of Surigao del Sur PPO are still conducting investigation to determine the identities of the perpetrators and their motive.
Meanwhile, Romana today ordered Dungo to personally supervise the investigation to identify the perpetrators and their motive for filing of appropriate charges in court.