9th passenger lucky to be alive

MANILA, Philippines – “I think it’s not my time yet.”

That was all Col. Cris Tumanda, the ninth passenger of the ill-fated Nomad airplane that crashed yesterday and claimed the lives of his colleagues in the Air Force, could say.

Tumanda, a Filipino word which means to grow old, said he was lucky to be alive.

He stressed that the aircraft showed no signs of engine trouble during the early stages of the flight.

Tumanda, group commander of the Air Force’s Tactical Operations Group 12 (TOG-12), was among the nine military officers who initially boarded the airplane on the flight from Davao to Zamboanga City.

The plane landed in Cotabato City to drop off Tumanda who had to report back for duty at the Air Force’s 3rd Air Division in the city.

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