On the September 16, 2010 NCDA Board Meeting, DOJ Assistant Chief State Counsel, Ruben F. Fondevilla requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to update the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) on the complaints filed by Jovencio Concha III and Katrina Segundo against Cebu Pacific Air. This was in violation of Republic Act 7277 (Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.

Atty. Eleanor Racher Martil-Angeles (2nd from left) of NBI reports on the recommendations of the Bureau during the NCDA Board Meeting. .

Based on the NBI report (NBI Case No: C-10-04520, AGD No. 0105-130), on 15 April 2010, then Acting Secretary Alberto Agra of DOJ referred to the NBI Director, for appropriate action, the letter of NCDA, OIC, Mr. Mateo A. Lee, Jr. addressed to DOJ Secretary Agnes Devanadera. It refers to the complaints of Mr. Concha, et al, against Cebu Pacific Air for alleged violation of RA 7277. The NCDA forwarded the complaints from the disabled sector, namely: Mr. Jovencio Concha III, the ten (10) deaf students, Ms. Katrina Segundo, and a special child Arvin Alcantara, who all suffered alleged discrimination from the said airlines’ management and personnel. In their reply, Cebu Pacific denied the allegations of the complaints and maintained that they have to ensure overall safety of the flight, including the crew and the passengers. Cebu Pacific added that its personnel have been religiously complying with the provisions of its Operations Manual and Cabin Crew Safety Manual duly approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), to guarantee the safety and security of all its passengers.

The NBI found that the management of Cebu Pacific Airs violated Section 34 of RA 7277, for refusing to convey passengers by reason of their disability. Though some of them were able to take their respective flights in the end, it cannot be denied that they experienced delay in boarding and suffered humiliation in the process. The NBI recommends that the copy of the report be forwarded to the DOJ for information and appropriate action. NBI considered that this case be closed and terminated as far as their bureau is concerned and records of this case be forwarded to the Identification and Records Division (IRD) for future reference.