Total overhaul of Clark execs asked

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    ANGELES CITY – “Not just major but total overhaul of officials at Clark for the benefit of the people, especially in Pampanga.”

    Thus said Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) Chairman Ruperto “Perto” Cruz as he urged President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino to change all appointees of the previous administration occupying top and key positions at the Clark Freeport.

    “All the GMA appointees from presidents, vice presidents down to directors  should be banished as they collectively failed to improve the developments at the Freeport after being given ample time to simply do their jobs,” said Cruz, referring to the appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who stepped down last June 30.

    “Let’s ask them to honestly answer this question: What had they done for Clark? We will end up hearing bungled opportunities, questionable deals and alleged anomalies, including the recent scrap scandal at the Clark airport,” said Cruz.     

    The PGKM chairman stressed that “we should stop being parochial and try to look for efficient, sincere and credible leaders from any place in the country” at the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC). 

    He added that they should not be “necessarily Kapampangans.” 

    “I want to make it clear that there are many very qualified and good Kapampangans for the top Clark positions. But we have seen some present and previous CDC and CIAC officials from Pampanga who failed big-time. What’s important is that next CDC and CIAC top honchos should do their respective jobs well and beyond the call of duty,” said Cruz. 

    Cruz cited former CDC presidents Rufo Colayco and Antonio Ng of Pasay City and Cebu, respectively, who left legacies as former leaders at Clark.

    Former CDC President Antonio Henson of Angeles City, on the other hand, failed as CDC president by reportedly favoring Taipans based in Metro Manila who allegedly want to derail the development at then Clark International Airport and now Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), according to Cruz.

    Cruz said Colayco as CDC president conceptualized the development of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). Colayco led the completion of the major expressway in Region III as president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).  

    Cruz disclosed that Ng as CDC president led a team that convinced the Texas Instruments (TI) to put up a major expansion project at Clark. Once fully operational, TI is expected to generate at least 3,000 workers.      

    Sources at the state-owned firm said CDC President and CEO Benigno Ricafort had sought signature support from Clark workers to help him retain his post.

    The sources added that Aquino could tap his relative Benito Aquino Gonzales of Concepcion, Tarlac to replace Ricafort.

    Gonzales, also known as BG among his friends, is a product of the Wharton School of Business in the United States. 

    Aquino is also considering former three-term Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan as replacement for Ricafort. But a law prohibits Aquino from naming Catacutan as CDC president and CEO because the mayor unsuccessfully ran for Tarlac first district solon in the recent elections.

    Cruz said only career bureaucrats protected by performance-based security tenure should be retained at CDC and CIAC. 

    Punto tried but failed to get the statements of Ricafort as of press time.

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