Cut off the CDC

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    SINVERGUENZA. Have they no delicadeza left in their marrows?

    So Que Sio, Que Tal columnist Macky Pangan of Central Luzon Daily cried in horror at the loose talks – as well as a press statement – out of the Clark Freeport that top executives of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) allegedly enjoined the workers’ union of the state-owned firm to undertake a signature campaign to endorse to President Aquino their retention at their lofty perches.

    Straightforward was the press statement, albeit anonymously sent: “Should the union approve the request for endorsement, the letter will be forwarded to Malacanang to urge President Aquino for consideration and possible extension of office.”

    Up for grabs in the new administration are the positions of CDC board chairman and directors, CDC president-CEO and all the vice presidents who hold terms co-terminus with their appointing power, the President of the Philippines.

    So we have heard of over 700 applicants to these positions, coming from the Aquino home province of Tarlac as well as adjoining Pampanga which shares linguistic ties with the former.

    So we have even cited names being floated about in a recent editorial, such as Buan, Villanueva, Mendoza, Catacutan, Aquino, Paule. And chagrined to note no Cauguiran there.

    So we have heard of one Benito Aquino Gonzales of Concepcion, Tarlac as a shoo-in for CDC president. “In the BAG. So is CDC being bruited about.” As our editorial put it.

    All this, even as we were bombarded by our sources at the CDC – from the ranks as well as the files, or whatever – of their top honchos clutching at straws to stay in their posts.

    Why, one close to the very top talked of the “gumption” of one CDC-aged-but-unwizened character, “willing to be reduced to director, if he could not hold on to his current post.” And going to the extent of asking him to find the direct pipeline to P-Noy.

    And to think that this character presents himself as a most honorable man! So need we still ask where has delicadeza gone at CDC? Out of it, dummy.

    The press statement was direct in its allegation that the asked-for endorsement was a sort of a payback, particularly to CDC President-CEO Benigno Ricafort, for his being “responsible in lobbying for the immediate approval of the members of the board of directors on their request for salary increase and other benefits for the new life of the CBA contract with the union.”

    “Reciprocating the goodwill (of Ricafort).” So the statement’s source put it.

    As quick as the press statement was a press release denying it altogether.

    Officers of the Association of CDC Supervisory Personnel (ACSP) and the Association of Concerned CDC Employees (Acces) denied having been asked by top CDC executives to sign endorsements for their retention in their current positions.

    “Mr. Ricafort never asked the union for any endorsements to extend the terms of the present CDC executives.” So the press release quoted ACSP President Victor Barbieto as saying. “Should there be a request from any key official from CDC, the union will not entertain this.”

    “…There were no feelers from Mr. Ricafort to get our endorsement. There was not even any attempt to talk to us. CDC officers have always maintained a level of decency and professionalism.” So was quoted Noel Tulabut, member of the executive board of the Association of Career Executives (ACE) in CDC.

    “This malicious allegation is baseless and out of the blue and a product of someone’s wild imagination.” So dismissed Acces President Carlos Cabrera of the press statement.

    On sheer headcount, those officially denying CDC officials asked the workers’ union for endorsement are outnumbered by those affirming it – three: Barbieto, Tulabut and Cabrera, against over 25 workers local media had the chance to talk to.

    While the three had openly made their denial, the 25 had asked that they be not named. Why don’t they come out of their umbra of anonymity?

    And open themselves to venganza?

    If the CDC officials have any delicadeza left in their marrows, to answer Que Sio, Que Tal, they can simply prove this by tendering their irrevocable – not just courtesy – resignations.
    Cut and cut cleanly – to paraphrase US Senator Richard Lugar to the then embattled Ferdinand Marcos – off the CDC, Ricafort and company.


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