ANGELES CITY – The conspiracy theory to sabotage the development of the Clark International Airport (CIA) was bolstered anew with the last official act of outgoing Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President-CEO Victor Jose “Chichos” I. Luciano.
The Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) said Luciano should not have allowed the expansion of the Luen Thai International (L&T) garments firm inside the 2,400-hectare civil aviation area.
Luciano and L&T International Group President Francisco Sauceda recently signed two lease contracts for the firm’s expansion program. PGKM Chairman Ruperto Cruz said the civil aviation area should be fully reserved for the development of the Clark airport and suggested that L&T should have been relocated instead to the more than 30,000 hectare subzone now renamed Clark Green City by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
“The only asset of the Clark airport is its area, why constrict it with non-aviation-essential locators?” he reasoned. According to reports, L&T’s first lease contract covers an area of 6,033 square meters for the expansion which is expected to generate 150 jobs for the first year.
The expansion project is expected to start next year. The second lease contract covers an area of 5,941 square meters which is now part of L&T’s leased area for future expansion. Both lease contracts have a 10-year coverage period.
”Palako nya mu ginawa yapang takbang para paten ne ing Clark (He is just about to leave but he still made a move to kill Clark),” Cruz said. “This proves that he is really against the development of the Clark airport,” he said.
“It is now becoming very clear that the group in the CAB are really not intent for Clark’s full development,” he added. Luciano was appointed as a member of the board of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) composed of Department Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya as chair, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General William Hotchkiss III and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. as members.
Cruz said CAAP has repeatedly ignored Clark while Jimenez refused to support the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Lubao where some 30 dirigibles will be outside air traffic of the Clark airport. Cruz said Abaya’s actions are too blatant and obvious against the development of Clark.
Abaya, a former congressman representing the first district of Cavite, has batted for Sangley Point in Cavite City as the location of the new international airport. Its construction will not only entail billions of pesos but will also require a massive reclamation from the sea. Peter Anthony, the secretary’s brother, is the general manager and CEO of the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
And now Luciano is joining them in CAB, he said. “Nanu pa ing pagasa ning Clark kanini miyabeyabe nala reng akakit tamung conspirators (What chance does Clark have now that those we perceive as conspirators are all together),” he said.
During Luciano’s farewell press conference last week, he said: “This is where I can really fight for Clark. I believe I am in a better position now to fight for Clark and Clark will have a spokesman inside the civil aeronautics board.”
But Cruz downplayed Luciano’s pronouncement saying “action speaks louder than words.” Cruz said Luciano should have sued Air Asia Philippines and Emirates Airlines for not honoring their contracts in Clark.
But he said Luciano has reneged on his duty and allowed them to unilaterally cancel their contracts. “Can Luciano now right the wrong committed when he did not even lift a finger to prevent them from leaving Clark?” Cruz asked.
At one point during his farewell press conference, Luciano admitted,” I am a marketing man and I am not a lawyer” which was why he allowed the airlines to cancel their contracts. Maybe that’s what incoming CIAC president and CEO Emigdio “Dino” Tanjuatco Jr. should do because he is a lawyer, he said.