Pilot of ill-fated plane is a ‘hero’

Posted at 08/19/2012 3:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Family and friends of the pilot of the ill-fated Piper Seneca, Capt. Jessup Bahinting, also continue to pray for his safe return.

A friend, Jack Jakosalem, considers Bahinting a hero, recalling when the pilot flew his own plane to search for an anti-venom in Camiguin for a zookeeper in Cebu who was bitten by a cobra last week.

"For us, he's a hero because he voluntarily gave his plane for free just to get the anti-venom,” he said.

Jakosalem showed the text messages he received from Bahinting on Friday, asking for updates on the condition of Ronaldo Aventurado, the zookeeper.

Upon learning that Aventurado was doing well, Bahinting said: “Praise God.”

The ABS-CBN News team also checked on Aventurado, who is already getting better after taking the anti-venom shots but could not talk when the news team last visited him.

He is also hoping that Bahinting will still turn out alive.

“Sana makita ko pa rin siya nang personal, siya kasi ang tumulong sa akin,” he said in Cebuano.

Meanwhile, the City of Cebu plans to fete Bahinting a “Life Saver Award.”

President Benigno Aquino III already ordered the full force of government to search for Robredo, Bahinting, and Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand. They were on board a six-seater Piper Seneca aircraft when it crashed at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday off the waters of Masbate. – from a report by Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas