Housecleaning can be deadly

But Cusi is unperturbed

By Recto Mercene
July 20, 2010

SINCE exposing the million-peso activities of a syndicate preying on foreign students taking up flying lessons in the Philippines and subsequent scrutiny by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), death threats have been sent to Director General Alfonso Cusi of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

“Kung tatanungin mo ako kung totoo…totoo [If you ask me if it is true…it is true],” Cusi said, referring to the threats he has received since assuming the Caap post on March 3.

Asked if he is not afraid that somebody might try to kill him, Cusi said: “Matagal na tayong takot eh [We’ve been afraid for a long time].”

He did not elaborate, fearing that the issue would be blown out of proportion or he might be accused of inventing the threats.

However, Cusi said there are several fronts which he is currently fighting at the moment, such as the corruption issues at the Flight Safety Inspectorate Service, the previous Flight Safety Division of the defunct Air Transportation Office (Ato), the cancellations of certificates of some local air carriers and the exposé on bogus flying certificates and licenses issued by flying schools.

“In the history of the Ato, when did anyone revoke the permit of an airline, who canceled the registration, airworthiness certificates of aircraft?” Cusi asked.

He said in the issue of the LET 410, there were 19 of such planes that were grounded for lack of safety standards.

“Who decides that these airplanes could no longer fly?” Cusi asked, saying that had he wanted, he would have accepted bribes just to allow these aircraft to continue to fly.

Cusi said the NBI is needed to determine if some Caap personnel are involved.

“We need to know the truth. We are like this [where the Caap had been reduced to Category 2 status] because of wrongdoings by some,” he said, adding that “this incident in the Caap would not have happened if we keep on believing that we have been right all along.”

“Obviously, somebody did something wrong and what we want to do is to find out who committed the mistakes, the corruption, so that we would not be accused that we are right all the time, that we have never committed any mistake.”

“However, I did it, because the lives of the Filipinos are at stake.”

He said it is a heavy responsibility that he is willing to accept.

“Kaya may NBI para malaman ang truth. Matagal na ang problemang iyan. What is needed is the political will to correct it. Here we are trying to correct it now and I hope everybody will be with us to correct the problem. But ’yung tatamaan magagalit. Bakit nahihirapan ka...first we have to follow the process, everybody have rights and we got to follow the process and that is the system that we have. We will follow the system,” Cusi added.


  1. DAPAT LANG MAGLINIS SYA NG BAHAY NYA NG NDI MAPAHIYA ANG TAO. Its about time! show and prove that you are the man with dignity.

  2. Whatever it is Cusi is trying to clean up has been there for years. A succession of retired generals or airline executives--pilots all--have not succeeded in eradicating the problem, or even acknowledging that it existed in the first place. Perhaps being a non-pilot is a plus for Cusi. After all not once did he have to "play ball" with the people at licensing or the examination board, nor does he have to accept that's just "the way it is."