Fasttrack probe on Clark airport cable wire brouhaha

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    ANGELES CITY – The chair of a multi-sectoral advocacy group has called on the government to expedite its investigation on the alleged pilferage of backup cable wires worth P2.6 million along the runway of the Clark international airport to allay fears of passengers and airlines plying Clark skies.

    Businessman Ruperto Cruz, who heads the influential Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM), reiterated his call on the Aquino Administration “to bring those responsible to justice” in the wake of an expose by Clark International Airport President Vice President of Operations Reynaldo Catacutan, who tagged CIAC President Victor Jose Luciano as the mastermind behind the stolen cable wires.

    But Cruz lashed at Catacutan saying “if he was really serious in exposing these anomalies, then why didn’t he file formal charges against Lucinao and the four suspects involved in the removal of the backup cable wires?”

    Also, Cruz said he was baffled by Luciano’s alleged decision to exonerate the four suspects identified by CIAC security personnel: Cesar Mayo, Jose Canete III, Nilo Padua and Rolly Padua.

    In a report submitted to airport officials, CIAC Airport Security Department Manager Jose Marlowe Pedragosa said theft charges could be filed against the four suspects for removing the cable wires along the airport’s runway. But the suspects were allowed to walk away without any charges filed against them.

    “If Catacutan and Luciano are really supporting President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino’s ‘daang matuwid’ they should have taken action immediately by filing a case against the four suspects,” Cruz noted.

    In his report to CIAC Executive Vice President Bienvenido Manga, Catacutan said two kinds of cables were missing, one of which was about 275 meters long while the other 900 meters; both were valued at P2.6 million.

    According to Cruz, the accusation against the four suspects is a form of sabotage, which is a criminal offense.

    He cited basic airport security: “In all airports around the world, the mere mention of the word gun or bomb is a criminal offense.”

    “That is basic airport security. Now, if matters like these aren’t taken lightly then why is the CIAC administration turning a blind eye from the gravity of the offense?”

    Cruz lamented that the removal of the backup cable wires along the airport’s runway endangers the lives of passengers using Clark for their arrival or departure flights.

    “That is why these backup cable wires are needed to guarantee safety. So what safety can you expect now that the runway of the Clark airport is lacking any form of failsafe device,” Cruz said.

    Meanwhile, officials of the airport workers’ union staged a rally at the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) corporate office at lunch break on Thursday last week, calling for a “no-nonsense” investigation of the alleged rampant pilferage at the aviation complex.

    Marvin Pineda, president of the Samahang Manggagawa of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), led some 30 workers in a rally and motorcade, holding placards saying “Papanagutin ang mga sangkot sa lantarang nakawan sa CIAC.” 

    “We are not jumping into conclusions and pointing out anyone. We want a deep and real probe of the rampant stealing,” said Pineda. 

    CIAC President and CEO Victor Jose Luciano filed a leave of absence last week until Nov. 6 and asked for an “impartial probe” of the alleged missing P2.7-million power cables.

    – with Peter C. Alagos

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