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Lito O’s complaint

July 03,2015 - 12:16 PM


It’s been a pretty good week not just for Cebu City—which received substantial bids for two South Road Properties (SRP) lots last Tuesday—but for Cebu as well with President Benigno Aquino III leading the groundbreaking for the multi-billion peso second terminal project for the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

But what was supposed to be something positive got spoiled with an allegation by former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña that the P14.4 billion premium paid by GMR-Megawide, the terminal project implementor, will be used by the Liberal Party (LP) for the 2016 elections.

That the President made room during his visit to Cebu to comment on this allegation showed just how seriously he considered the allegation as an affront not only to the LP but to his administration.

“First of all, is there a thief who says ahead what he will steal before he actually steals it? And then later admits it, and hopes the party will win? So our party is already labeled a thief and stupid as well?

That’s really insulting. But that’s life, I will just have to swallow that,” the President said in Filipino.

The former governor, who declared his intention to run against incumbent Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III next year, elaborated on his allegation in an open letter to Cebu Daily News in its June 21, 2015 issue.

Osmeña’s main beef stems from the Aquino administration’s decision not only to award the terminal project to a foreign firm (GMR) but the President’s signing of Republic Act 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act which he believed to have stripped the authority of the Mactan Cebu International Airport board and made them into “puppies waiting for orders from the top.”

When told about the President’s comments, Osmeña told a local daily that he is willing to elaborate on his points and clarified that he didn’t state that the Liberal Party stole the P14.4 billion premium.

If the P14.4 billion premium was the bombshell that he promised to unload against Davide that involved those all the way to Malacañang, then the former governor at least succeeded in drawing the President’s attention.

Whether he succeeded in projecting Davide as a “lame duck” governor remains to be seen.

While the President has brushed aside the allegation, its effect lies more on next year’s elections rather than the actual terminal project which hopefully would deliver on its promise to serve more foreign and domestic passengers three years from now.

Osmeña’s allegations may be worth more than pondering over, but until he gets elected as governor, there’s nothing he nor those who support his views can do anything more than just complain. And complaints need to be backed by evidence to be taken more seriously by the public.

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TAGS: GMR-Megawide, South Road Properties, SRP

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