Pampanga is bidding 2014 farewell short of big good news. With less than two years in the Aquino administration, only the promise of a P1.2 billion low-cost carrier passenger terminal seems to have gained foothold in the hopes of Capampangans, Binay, Central Luzon folk, that the Clark international Airport would be the pivot for an economic boom past the devastating eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.
The year 2014 also prominently headlined a non-Capampanganin local newspapers. Tondo, Manila-born Defin Lee was arrested in March over an alleged P6.6-billion syndicated estafa case on his Xevera housing projects in Mabalacat City and Bacolor town, and has remained at the provincial jail in the City of San Fernando since then.
His lawyers linked housing czar Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay to the case, and Lee himself had openly said he would be doomed should Binay win the presidency in 2016.
Lawmen and criminality were also highlights in this province this passing year, the lawmen pursuing suspects in gory crimes and hauling big, as much as P7 billion of shabu in two areas in the City of San Fernando last September.
These accomplishments were, however, negated by cases where criminal groups were headed by some policemen themselves. CLARK AIRPORT PROMISE It was a government promise that dated back to Executive Order No. 174 signed by then Pres. Ramos in 1994.
Clark, it said, was to be the future site of the country’s premier international gateway. Even through Capampangan ex-Pres. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo, Clark airport struggled towards realizing EO 174.
Local folk in this struggle knew all too well that prominent Metro Manila-based tycoons lacked enthusiasm for this move. But it was a measure that Capampangans saw as necessary to build up the confidence of more airlines to oper-ate at Clark.
Only recently, newly installed Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President- CEO Emigdio Tanjuatco urged the national government to make an unequivocal declaration of the Clark airport as a premiere gateway under a dual airport system in the country.
“This will significantly boost the confidence of airlines to establish regular flights at Clark,” Tanjuatco said, as he cited the experience of Japan which now has four international airports and where the biggest, the Narita International Airport, is located 60 kilometers east of central Tokyo.
Tanjuatco said that an executive order from Pres. Aquino on such declaration would be “fine”, but that a “strong statement” from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) would do.
Clark is noted to have its own “catchment” area for potential passengers in the four regions north of Metro Manila, while the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has the regions south of the metropolis.
This, on top of a study indicating that some three million passengers from Central and Northern Luzon who had flown abroad via NAIA are either not aware of Clark flights or claim that Clark did not have flights to their destinations.
“We are targeting this three million people so we are pursuing plans to have a P1.2 billion low cost carrier terminal finished at Clark soonest,” he noted.
The P1.2 billion is included in the General Appropriations Act for 2015 amid target to have the new terminal totally finished, if not operational, by the time Pres. Aquino steps down in 2016.
Tanjuatco said the new terminal would increase the Clark airport’s capacity to as much as eight million passengers annually. Tanjuatco said CIAC is continuing with its “roadshow” campaign to make folk in Central and Northern Luzon aware of Clark flights and convince them that Clark is a better option than NAIA for its proximity and convenience of both travel and facilities.
The good news on the airport was from Pampanga 1st District Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao who had worked for the P1.2 billion budget for a lowcost carrier (LCC) terminal for the Clark airport in the GAA, a first in the history of the airport.
This, on top of reports that Pres. Aquino had tasked the Department of Transportation and Communications ((DOTC) to conduct a feasibility study for a new high-speed railway to link Clark to Metro Manila.
DELFIN LEE SAGA
Binay orchestrated the cases against him. “Vice Pres. Binay, face me in the Senate. Ilabas po natin ang katotohanan at magkaalaman na tayo kung sino po and sinungaling sa atin,” Lee said in a post in the Globe Asiatique Faceboon account.
Addressing Binay, Lee said“kailangan ko pa pong magpa- subpoena sa Senate para lang masabi ko ang totoo. Humarap din po kayo (I need to be asked to be subpoena’s by the Senate to tell the truth.
Face the Senate, too).” Lee reminded Binay that “you have always said that you are being a victim of politicking. I am not a politician but isn’t it true that your politicking is victimizing me?” “That is what you are doing to me, you are using me in politicsto boost your popularity,” he said.
Lee reiterated in his post that he had been “dealing with Pag-IBIG Fund for 20 years without negative record norany debt.” “But when you (Binay) assumed post, I suddenly became a scam artist in less than a month. The fact is that Globe Asiatique had even been a top performer.
Your agency had used my projects as models to lure buyers and borrowers. Instead of supporting me, you sought loopholes to create a scam without basis,” he also said.
He reminded Binay that “we have met each other in nine cases filed before the Court of Appeals before nine divisions with 27 justices. You did not win, all the decisions favored Globe Asiatique.” But his debate challenge fell on deaf ears.
Not even theSenate could have served asenue or the debate, after a judge of the Regional Trial Court in San Fernando barred Lee from attending a Senate hearing on his case.
Lee said he would “rot” in jail in case Binay becomes president in 2016, but recent surveys showed Binay’s presidency has become a challenged scenario.In March, national and local headlines knew one name: Delfin Lee.
Initially labelled as fugitive, he was finally arrested in Manila for being allegedly involved in syndicated estafa costing P6.6 billion of government funds for his housing projects in Bacolor and Mabalacat in Pampanga.
But Globe Asiatique President Delfin Lee challenged Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay to a debate in the Senate “for us to let out the truth and find out who is lying.” He believed that
DRUGS, CRIMES AND COPS
The estimated street value of the drugs was placed at P7 billion. Amid such accomplishments were cases that egated the police image.
In July, authorities busted a criminal group headed by rookie policeman following his arrest and those of his four cohorts shortly after they robbed the residence of a British national in a posh subdivision at Barangay Sta. Cruz, Porac town.
The gang leader was identified by the police as PO1John Paul Tanglao, 25, detailed at the Regional Public Safety Battalion 3 (RPSB3) stationed in Porac and a resident of Marcos Village, Barangay San Nicolas, City of San Fernando.
The other suspects were Joey Guiao, 46, alias Kuya, of Sta. Lucia, City of San Fernando, Dennis Bigeras, 36, of Pulung Maragul, and Mark Navarro, 25, alias Mac-mac, of Villeras Compound, Pulung Maragul, both in Angeles City.
Senior Supt. Marlon Madrid, officer-in-charge (OIC) of Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPO), said Tanglao, armed with M16 rifle and clad in police uniform, accompanied by other members of the gang, barged into the residence of Nigel Martin Witty, a Briton, and accused the victim of running a cybersex den.
The suspects, Madrid said, shoved the victim inside the house at gunpoint as the suspects started to cart off his belongings in the house. The incident was witnessed by Witty’s live-in partner Suzette Soriano.
Miro said the suspects were about to leave the victim’s residence onboard a blue Toyota Fortuner (ZHF- 737) when intercepted by operatives from the PPO Intelligence Branch and Pampanga Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Last September, criminal charges were filed against four Chinese nationals who were arrested in a raid on a “mega” shabu laboratory and storage facility in the City of San Fernando. The big catch was shabu and related paraphernalia worth some P7 billion.
Charged before the Department of Justice were Neri Tan, Willy Yap, Jason Lee, and Ying Ying Huang alias Sophie Lee. All suspects, except for Huang, were from Xiamen, China.
The fourth suspect was from Fujian province. The Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested the suspects in two separate raids in a warehouse” in Greenville Subdivision, Barangay San Jose.
And in another “warehouse” in Richtown Subdivision, Barangay Sindalan, all in San Fernando. Several boxes of shabuwere seized in a house in Greenville Subdivision where three of the suspects were arrested. Authorities said they recovered more than 1,000 kilos of shabu from a makeshift lab-