Cusi stays

But others wanted his post

By Recto Mercene

July 18, 2010

The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAA) has served notice he will stay at his post—which is not coterminous with the President who appointed him, Gloria Arroyo—because the “imperious manner” in which he was treated by a new superior officer made him rethink plans to turn in a courtesy resignation.

“Oh, kailan ka aalis [Hey, when are you leaving]?” Cusi quoted the official as saying, in complete disregard of the fact that he has a four-year term.

Cusi said he responded by telling the unnamed official that he would prepare his departure papers. But after thinking about it back in his office, he said he felt disgusted that he was being forced to leave.

“It occurred to me that the former Air Transportation Office [Ato] was changed into the Caap so that it would be beyond politics,” Cusi said.

“Now politics had reared its ugly head and the Caap, it seems, has become a battleground for political accommodations.”

Cusi was appointed to his post on March 3, 2010, after withdrawing from a congressional race in Oriental Mindoro and, by law, should be with the Caap until March 2, 2014, according to airport officials.

Cusi had earlier said he would submit a courtesy resignation, but apparently changed his mind after colleagues and Caap officials asked him to stay.

During his first 100 days in office, he sought to make a dent in the highly corrupt Flight Standard and Inspectorate Service (FSIS), formerly the Flight Safety Division of the defunct ATO.

Cusi asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into allegations of pilots licenses being sold without actually taking a difficult examination, padded flying hours to expedite getting the flight certificate and other anomalous transactions with collusion from some corrupt flying schools.

The NBI had found pilots licenses and flying certificates with forged signatures of FSIS officials.

As Caap headman, he prevented the Middle East and Australia from blacklisting Philippine carriers after assuring them it was just a matter of attaining internationally accepted audit procedures, and that all airlines in the country are safe and sound.

The Caap chief then presented their achievements to the members of the Foreign Chambers and informed his counterparts in other countries.

A visiting delegation from the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) cited Caap’s achievements in such a short time. In September the European Union representatives will visit following two video conferences with Director General Daniel Calleja of the EU’s Air Safety Committee.

Cusi was deemed instrumental in the acquisition of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) that should have been installed on May 29 before the controversial navigational aid, VOR (VHF omnidirectional range) went out of commission on June 19.

However, European airspace was closed to air traffic from April until May during the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, delaying the airlift of the ILS, which eventually arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last week.

Cusi’s sudden departure from the Manila International Airport Authority in March, to be named Caap headman, also temporarily disrupted the installation of the ILS after a new airport manager took his place.


  1. I believe Cusi can do a good job at the CAAP.

    Better, certainly, than a potential replacement, a retired PAF general (yes, another one!) who spent his time sucking up to the now-incumbent throughout the campaign period.

  2. Cusi is the guy!

    It's not a PAF General - worst - its just a Colonel with ZERO experience in managing big aviation companies!

    But he is know to be "nice" to ppl who are "niece" to him! Does that mean he does special favors for special gifts?

  3. will we allow another military person to manned or corrupt the system again. i hope not.

  4. Cusi cannot perform his job well if the people behind his back is not loyal or a skilled worker. However, most of the people from MIAA or CAAP under Cusi's administration/management has beed tolerated. The HEAD is useless if the components of the BRAIN is not working.

  5. mas madaling magbayad to terminate incompetent people rather than keep them and taking the risk because of CSC. We could easily find good and honest people. Masmadaling magturo sa bata kesa matanda.

  6. Enough of those retired generals. Look where they've brought us--CAT 2.

    It's a CIVIL AVIATION Authority in case people haven't noticed. Do we honestly expect military people to come right out of service and know the the ropes straightaway? We don't need OJTs, and we certainly do not need the military padrino culture to infect the CAAP.

    Or has the office, like the ATO before it, been reduced to some sort of post-retirement sinecure?

  7. NAIA is once again ruled by a General. Its very doubtful whether he can sustain what Matibag busted, human trafficking. Four Deputies were also appointed two days ago by President Aquino at NAIA holding ex-PAF tag. Will this be another "Game of the Generals" episode? ABANGAN!