Philippines’ defense department team to investigate case of missing Saudi student pilot

Missing Saudi student pilot Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif
Updated 07 July 2019

Philippines’ defense department team to investigate case of missing Saudi student pilot

  • 23-year-old Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif and his instructor went missing while on a training flight in the central Philippines

MANILA: The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) said on Friday that it will conduct a separate investigation into the case of a Saudi aviation student who went missing while on a training flight in Occidental Mindoro.

This was upon the request of Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Abdullah Al-Bussairy.

“We are doing our own (investigation),” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in an interview on the sidelines of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) 45th anniversary photo exhibit and commemorative event titled “Snapshots of History” at The Gallery in Makati City.

Lorenzana was referring to the case of 23-year-old Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif, who disappeared along with his flying instructor Capt. Jose Nelson Yapparcon on May 17.

“I had a meeting with the Saudi ambassador last week, the reason being that according to him they were able to uncover some documents that may help in bringing closure to the accident,” Lorenzana said.

“The Saudi national is a student, he was with a pilot (instructor), there’s two of them and the plane is somewhere in the coast off Mindoro (Occidental). Nothing was recovered, not even the plane or anything,” he added.

On speculation that Al-Sharif could be a victim of kidnapping, the defense chief said that that was one of the theories raised by the Saudi envoy.

“That is why they want another investigation aside from the official one to bring closure to the accident,” Lorenzana said.

The Saudi ambassador, Lorenzana said, “wanted the DND to conduct another investigation using these documents to ascertain what really happened to that ill-fated trainer plane so that the family of the student pilot can put closure to this case.”



Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

KSRelief aircraft contains medical supplies, ventilators and other relief goods for blast victims. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 August 2020

Third Saudi aid plane arrives in Beirut

  • KSRelief teams are also active in treating blast victims

RIYADH: A third King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) plane loaded with aid arrived in Beirut on Saturday as part of a relief air bridge that was set up to help the people in wake of the Beirut blasts.

The air bridge was established on the directives of King Salman to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
KSRelief Adviser Dr. Ali bin Hamed Al-Ghamdi said the third plane is loaded with ventilators, hospital and medical equipment, as well as various medicines and disinfectants. It also contains food, tents, mattresses, blankets and cooking supplies.
So far, 200 tons of aid from the Kingdom have been flown to Lebanon with specialized teams to follow up and supervise the distribution operations.
KSRelief teams are also active in Lebanon in treating victims of the blast.
Earlier, two Saudi aircraft carrying more than 120 tons of medicines, equipment, and emergency supplies were dispatched to Beirut.
KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said in a statement that the assistance highlights the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.

The Saudi aid will help alleviate the sufferings of Lebanese people.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, Chief of the High Relief, Commission in Lebanon

The twin blasts devastated large areas of the Lebanese capital and destroyed vital infrastructure, including grain storage silos and port facilities.
Lebanon, already reeling from an economic and currency collapse, now faces the threat of food shortages and a major hit to exports and imports.
Countries around the world have rushed to help Lebanon in the wake of the port explosion on Aug. 4.
The secretary-general of the High Relief Commission in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair, thanked the Kingdom for the urgent humanitarian aid provided through KSRelief.
In a press statement, he praised the historical relations between the two countries, noting the Saudi aid will help alleviate the suffering of Lebanese people.
Residents in the Kingdom can also help Lebanon by making donations through KSRelief’s website.