Survivors reveal experiences before and during C-130 crash

MANILA, Philippines – Survivors of the unfortunate Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 plane crash in Sulu last Sunday revealed their harrowing experiences just minutes before the accident happened.

death toll of the C-130 crash in Sulu reaches 53
As of Wednesday, death toll of the C-130 crash in Sulu reaches 53 | Photo Courtesy: GMA News

For the survivors, nothing could make them forget the incident that made them lose their comrades. Private Benjamin Obod Jr. wept as he promised that he will always remember his 53 fellow servicemen who didn't survive the plane crash.

"Hindi namin sila malilimutan. Halos magkapamilya na kami," Obod said.

Obod joined the 96 passengers and crew aboard the C-130 plane with the tail number 5125. The majority of them were new privates who finished their training last June 23. They were going to be assigned in Sulu to augment the forces of the Philippine Army in the area.


According to Joint Task Force Sulu, the military aircraft took off from Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday and was about to land in Jolo port in Sulu when it crashed at 11:30 a.m.

Obod recounted what they experienced just before their aircraft crashed. He said that they were praying and shouting, "Lord, God, Lord, God, Jesus Christ."

When the crash happened, everything went dark and he couldn't see his comrades.

"Malakas yung impact talaga kasi dumilim ang paningin tapos ang tropa 'di namin makita," he said.

Sergeant Abud Asmawil was also one of the fortunate survivors of the crash. He sustained burns on his face, feet and hands but is happy that he is alive. He also recalled how he noticed that prior to the crash, the plane was flying irregularly.

"Iba na ang lipad niya, gumegewang," he said.

Meanwhile, another survivor, Private First Class Ganney Ligayan, thought the pilot had prevented the crash because they felt the brakes slam just before landing. But he was shocked to see fire just outside their window. He eventually lost consciousness when the crash happened. He woke up to see fire everywhere.

"Nag-brake pa 'tas umangat pa ulit. Pagtingin ko sa bintana may mga kahoy na," he said.


As of Wednesday, the death toll has reached 53. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had ordered a full investigation of the incident.

While a probe is still underway, Lorenzana already received reports that human error and bad weather conditions might have led to the plane crash. He said that the pilot may have failed to do something. "Baka may hindi siya nagawa," Lorenzana said.

"Combination of the two. May hangin sa likod, kaya mabilis. May hangin sa likod kaya tinutulak," Lorenzana remarked.

The Defense Secretary also clarified rumors that the aircraft was old and defective. Lorenzana said the C-130 plane was brand new and newly delivered just in January this year.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Cirilito Sobejana announced on Tuesday that the plane's black box has been recovered. The black box, which is essentially a flight recorder, will help the investigators uncover what happened during the flight.

"Sa ngayon nasa investigators na po, ‘yun ang sinusuri nila at pinapakinggan kung ano ‘yung naging last conversation ng pilot at crew,” Sobejana added.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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  1. Lorenzana claimed that the plane was brand new??? That's not true! Yes,they received it from USAF just last January. But the plane was more then 3 decades old. Had it's first flight back in 1988!

  2. Bagong pintura! Bago na sakanya yun? Hahaha!

  3. Eh, bakit ang mga pamilya ng namatayan halos nagsabi na prior to the flight nakatawag at naka-video call sila sa pamilya na may problema sa plane. Bakit pinapatuloy kahit alam na may depekto na dahil ba sa prinsipyo at batas niyo na "Obey first before you complain"?

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