It was reported in today's GMA news that Cebu Pacific is about to face a discriminatory case to be filed by Ms. Mylene Alcantara against the airline company and its flight crews for disallowing her child to board a Manila-bound flight from Hong Kong last December 23 of 2009.
Mrs. Alcantara cried foul over the treatment given to them quoting her statement from GMA News:
"They did it in front of the passengers, without them knowing what's happening. Baka pwede nila isipin na (They might think) I committed a crime or whatever. It's very discriminating,"
However airline personnel defended its policy to disallows two special children to be on board the same flight. Prior to Alcantara's son, a kid with Down Syndrome had already boarded the plane.
The incident caused a hour-delay in the plane's departure but eventually the crew allowed the child on the flight.
In a statement sent via text message, Cebu Pacific apologized to the Alcantara family for the incident as follows:
"We deeply regret the incident and have already taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We had apologized to the affected passengers who nonetheless traveled to Manila on the same flight,"
Last April 26, 2008, it was reported that Cebu Pacific refused to board 10 deaf passengers on a flight to Boracay as published by Filipino Deaf from the Eyes of a Hearing Person on its blogsite.
It is alarming to note that despite the extensive public media information in tv, radio and print ads to educate the Filipinos to fully understand the rights of our disabled kababayan, it makes me sad to realize that it never reaches the sensetivities of a much healthy and highly educated men.
Related news on the continuing saga of our disabled Kababayan on discrimination events as reported by Inquirer.
Until now, I cannot think of a reason how can an accompanied "special child" could pose a flight risk.
"And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." (Matthew 11:4-5)