In response to a comprehensive and scathing international review of the Philippines’ airline system, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has mandated a new airline safety briefing for passengers.
Duterte announced the initiative at a recent press conference. “All airlines coming in or out of the Philippines must implement the new briefing”, he said.
The new safety briefing, reportedly hand-written by Duterte himself, has been criticised for its use of violent threats and curse words. Legal experts have also questioned Duterte’s authority to control private airlines operating in international airspace.
“If they do not follow me, I will blow them out of the fucking sky. I think that should be authority enough for them.”
Duterte’s transcript begins innocently enough:
“When the seat belt sign illuminates, you must fasten your seat belt, unless you’re the type of person who enjoys being savagely whipped with it,”
It quickly escalates in severity from there:
“If an evacuation is necessary, we will seal the doors to ensure you cannot escape the torturous inferno. Did you think we would allow you to sue the airline for negligence?
“Assume the brace position and prepare to be incinerated by the explosion then immediately snap-frozen as we plunge into the freezing cold ocean. “
As the announcement continues, the warnings turn to open threats:
“Oxygen and air pressure are always being monitored inside the cabin. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, breathe normally, and hope to goddamned hell that we don’t activate the Nuremberg contingency and flood your mask with cyanide gas.
“If you do somehow make it out of the blazing wreck, use the whistle and light to attract attention, so we can hunt you down and hold your head under the water until you drown, you son of a whore.“
The bizarre announcement concludes in classic Duterte style, by alluding to government-sanctioned vigilante justice:
“We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. If you witness another passenger violating this policy, you have my permission to beat them within an inch of their fucking life, with impunity.
“God may show you mercy, but I will not.”
Duterte provided a complete sample of the new announcement, read by Philippine Airlines flight attendant Jenny Grace Cortez to serve as an example to airlines:
The new airline safety briefing comes into full effect on Tuesday 17th September. Or Duterte will have you summarily executed by rifle to the back of the head.