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Plane carrying Pacquiao makes emergency landing

The Manila Times logo The Manila Times 7/4/2021 Bernadette E. Tamayo,Benjamin L. Vergara

UPDATED 01:05 AM JULY 5, 2021

A Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane with Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao on board was forced to return to Manila on Sunday after making an emergency landing at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, because of a medical emergency.

Pacquiao, who was one of the 187 passengers on the flight, was on his way to Los Angeles, California, to start training for his title fight against American boxer Errol Spence Jr. on August 21.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday.

"We confirm flight PR102 MNL-LAX, which departed Manila at 9 p.m. July 3, diverted to Haneda to address a medical emergency. The plane landed at Haneda Airport at 3:36 a.m.," Villaluna said.

Villaluna did not elaborate on the nature of the emergency but said medical personnel at Haneda attended to a passenger who was not identified.

The plane was due to arrive at 7 p.m. on July 3 in Los Angeles. It had to return to Manila because it would not have been allowed to land in Los Angeles because of a 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

A replacement flight left Manila at 2:17 p.m. and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles at 11:55 a.m. on July 4.

With Pacquiao was his lawyer, Tom Falgui.

The 42-year-old boxing icon on Friday appealed to the Filipino people to unite in praying for his victory and in bringing honor to the country once more.

Spence is the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation world welterweight champion.

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