Exec asks President Aquino to ax Clark airport chief | Inquirer News

Exec asks President Aquino to ax Clark airport chief

/ 05:08 AM October 31, 2011

An official of the state-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) has asked President Benigno Aquino III to dismiss the president of the agency due to several alleged anomalies, including stolen power cables at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here.

Reynaldo Catacutan, CIAC vice president for airport operations management group, reported the supposed irregularities in an Oct. 25 letter to Mr. Aquino.

“Faithful to your directive and advocacy to align management operations with your vision towards tuwid na daan (straight path), the following reports identify some major problems confronting CIAC which pose alarming doubts on the integrity of CIAC’s president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano, thus, a contradiction to the noble path you want your people to tread on,” Catacutan wrote.


But Luciano called Catacutan’s move as “purely political.”


He assailed Catacutan for making public statements despite the advice of lawyer Arnel Paciano Casanova, president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). The CIAC is a subsidiary of BCDA.

Catacutan told the Inquirer that he was being transparent about problems in the CIAC so that, he said, “it is managed properly as an organization that leads DMIA’s growth.”

The DMIA, formerly a facility of the United States Air Force in Clark, sits in a 2,500-hectare aviation complex here. Luciano took the helm of the CIAC in 2006.

In the letter, Catacutan gave details on the loss/pilferage of at least 2,195 meters of high power cables by men who were issued passes by Luciano.

He also cited in the letter the illegal demolition of 17 buildings although, he said, these were still serviceable.

But Luciano said the alleged irregularities in the demolition were not proven. The case, filed by Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo, one of those leasing the buildings, is pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.


“Can’t [Catacutan] wait for the independent investigation to [release] its report? What is he afraid of? For the truth to come out?” Luciano said, referring to the probe ordered by lawyer Felipe Antonio Remollo, acting chair of the CIAC, on the missing cables reported in September by the CIAC engineering and maintenance department. Last week, the head of that unit denied the theft.

Catacutan also cited the purchase of a P45-million aerobridge that, he said, could not be used most of the time because it was found to be mechanically defective.

Catacutan included in the alleged irregularities what he called the technical malversation of the CIAC provident fund in which the management had supposedly failed to remit its share since 2007.

Workers had complained also of lost earnings as the money was not put in a time deposit account, which could have earned P10 million per quarter, he said.

Luciano said most of the 370 employees ignored a protest rally that was supposedly organized by Catacutan on Wednesday. Some 20 workers, however, mounted a noise barrage.

“While he [Luciano] claimed to have voluntarily taken a leave of absence, he met department heads to avert the protest,” Catacutan said.

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The plan of the Aquino administration to make the DMIA the country’s premiere international airport would be “very hard for us to realize given the present situation,” he said.


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