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Gordon wants Subic, Clark probe

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 12:07 AM July 20, 2016
Senator Richard Gordon. RICHARD A. REYES/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senator Richard Gordon. RICHARD A. REYES/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

SEN. RICHARD Gordon said he would initiate a legislative inquiry into what he described as the stalled development of freeport zones in Subic, Zambales and Clark, Pampanga, particularly the available airport infrastructure in the two former United States military bases.

Gordon was reacting shortly after receiving reports of flight diversions from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), where operations were suspended for repairs on the damaged runway Monday night.

A six-hour closure of the Naia’s main runway had forced the cancellation of at least 14 flights and the diversion of several others to Clark.

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“I intend to investigate why Subic has lost its equipment and why Clark has not been utilized in full. This will be in aid of legislation, in aid of progress,” Gordon told the Inquirer by phone.

Unused freeports

He said it was a “travesty” that the two freeport zones have been left largely unused even while it had runways and other infrastructure ready for mass air transport.

“It falls upon the 3-week-old Duterte administration to fast track the development of Subic and Clark, not only for redundancy, but it also saves us from reputational damage,” Gordon said, expressing frustration over repeated problems of congestion at Manila’s airports.

Daily sufferings at Naia

“It’s sheer stupidity that we have these wonderful infrastructure [in Subic and Clark] and they’re not being used. People suffer daily at the Naia. It is shameful,” he said.

Gordon was mayor of Olongapo City when a nationalistic senate in 1991 voted to shut the US naval base in Subic, which was located in his turf, and the American air base in nearby Clark.

He subsequently worked for a law that paved the way for the conversion of the former bases into freeport zones, a measure that he argues, has not been fully enforced.

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TAGS: Clark, freeport zone, Nation, news, Richard Gordon, Subic
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