Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 21, 2009

After his ‘Subic circus,’ Palafox’s apology is useless

This is in reaction to the news item on the apology of “respected” architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 3/11/09)

In the article, Palafox was reported to have said — in reference to his previous allegation that five public officials were involved in anomalies at the Subic Bay Freeport — that he was “very sorry if it created a lot of trouble.”

I’ll not question the sincerity of his apology (though he blurted it out only after failing to substantiate his fantastical claims of conspiracy at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, or SBMA). I’d just like to air my frustration with the fact that he seems to think that his apology is enough to take back the havoc he has wreaked.

Palafox’s “sorry” won’t take away the fact that he has already tainted the names of those he dragged into the circus he created. His “sorry” won’t take away the fact that SBMA might be losing the confidence of potential investors in the future. More importantly, his “sorry” destroyed the dreams of thousands of unemployed and impoverished Filipinos hoping to land a job at the Ocean 9 hotel-casino project.

If only Palafox’s “sorry” can be converted into thousands of jobs, which our country direly needs in this time of global economic crisis.

Obviously, Palafox picked a bad time to hurl allegations and to brandish his so-called environmentalism. If he is really concerned about the environment, why doesn’t he wage war on its real threats, like mining companies? He’ll be more productive this way, instead of going after the environmental threats at the SBMA that his mind has conjured.

Has he raised hell on the mining companies that killed thousands of trees, thus causing floods in Leyte and Samar?

In these dire economic times, and in these times when the government is hounded by corruption scandals that are ruining our country’s reputation, we don’t want Palafox’s circus of baseless claims to further tarnish our country’s name. To quote Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good as It Gets”: “Sell crazy some place else, we’re all stocked up here.” By VIRGILIO M. ILAGAN

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