High hopes for better 2015 Pampanga bids 2014 goodbye

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    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-   

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