SF-260 pilot involved in ‘friendly fire incident’ grounded – AFP

MANILA, June 1 (PNA) — The pilot of the SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 light attack aircraft, which accidentally bombed a military position in Marawi City, killing 11 and wounding seven others is now placed under administrative control of his unit while investigation of the case is ongoing.

This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in press briefing Thursday.

While he did not identify the pilot, he said the Board of Inquiry formed by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año will focus on determining whether the aircrew, aircraft, ordnance or the personnel tasked to guide the bombs to their target, are at fault.

This procedure is done to ensure that the pilot will be available for questioning by the panel.

Padilla said the investigation will provide the military with the necessary inputs to prevent the incident from happening again.

“While the AFP Leadership commits and takes the initiative to conduct a thorough investigation on the circumstances surrounding this unwanted development, the AFP will remain focused on its mission,” Padilla stressed.

The air strike, which accidentally bombed and killed 11 Army men and wounded seven others, is the fourth done by that aircraft for that day.

Padilla said that the first three strikes were successful and hit their target squarely.

“While we mourn the loss of our valued men, we will attend to their bereaved families and provide comfort and solace to them during this trying time,” he pointed out.

“We will take down every Maute-ISIS member that continue to desecrate the Islamic City and thwart the security forces from restoring peace and order in this part of Mindanao. PFN/PNA-northboundasia.com