Airport chief: Arroyos made it difficult for themselves
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) yesterday denied allegations by the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that she was not extended due courtesy when she and her husband attempted to leave the country on Tuesday night.
In a radio interview, MIAA General Manager Angel Honrado refuted the statements of Arroyo’s spokesperson Elena Bautista-Horn that the former President suffered inconvenience and was not accorded respect at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1.
“They were the ones who made it difficult for themselves as far as the access to the airport is concerned. Where did we become remiss [in] giving courtesy and convenience to the former President?” he said.
‘They chose normal entry’
Honrado said the MIAA had granted a request for passes for the Arroyos’ entourage of 20 people as well as vehicles including an ambulance. He said the request was faxed to the
MIAA public affairs office at around 7:19 p.m. and was quickly approved.
Through the Arroyos’ liaison, a certain Menchie Dulay, an arrangement was made whereby the former first couple and their entourage would enter the Naia premises through the ramp gate, where there is direct access to the lounge for dignitaries, Honrado said.
However, he said, the Arroyos chose to go through the normal entry and departure process, “most probably” because the couple was already late for their flight.
He said the Arroyos arrived between 8:05 and 8:08 p.m. for their Dragon Air flight to Hong Kong which was scheduled to depart at 8:50 p.m.
“They never even attempted to go to the ramp. Our people were waiting for them at the ramp gate. The presidential lounge was waiting for them. They know the procedures. This isn’t the first time they availed [themselves] of the [VIP] privilege. That’s why we’re wondering why we’re being accused of not according her courtesy,” he said.
Honrado said the inconvenience suffered by Arroyo when she was mobbed by members of the media could have been avoided had the ambulance in which she was riding entered the ramp, where she would have proceeded straight to the dignitaries’ lounge.
“But they chose to go through normal procedures, and members of the media and [other] people were waiting for them…” he said.
Originally posted at 06:26 pm | Wednesday, November 16, 2011