Palace defends purchase of new presidential jet

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — Militant groups have criticized the government's purchase of an almost ₱2 billion jet for senior officials but the Palace said the purchase is justified.

In a press briefing Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that it was a necessary purchase.

"Kung may times of crisis kailangan mo yun. Kaya nga crisis. There is necessity. If it's a necessity then paano na nagwawaldas ka," Panelo said.

[Translation: It's needed in times of crisis. That's why it's a crisis. There is a necessity. If it's a necessity then how will you call it unnecessary spending?]

The Department of National Defense on Tuesday confirmed the purchase of the Philippine Air Force of two aircrafts — a C295 tactical airlifter and a G280 business jet costing ₱1.8 billion.

The G280 jet is meant to fly the President and senior officials out, in the event of a crisis.

Panelo said that it is not President Rodrigo Duterte's nature to spend more than what is needed.

"E si Presidente pa, e si Presidente napaka-frugal. He does not spend more than necessary," Panelo said.

[Translation: It's the President, he's very frugal.]

President Rodrigo Duterte frequently flies to and from his hometown of Davao City. He reportedly sometimes takes commercial flights.

He flew straight to Davao City after his 5-day trip to Russia to tend to his youngest daughter, who has dengue. He has yet to return to Manila.

READ: Kitty Duterte recovering from dengue — Panelo