Subic Trees opinion
The case of Subic trees
By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD
Word Alive - Manila Bulletin
The Irish-born British statesman Edmund Burke once said: “The only way by which evil men prosper in society is for the good to do nothing.”
This is what architect Felino “Jun” Palafox did in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) casino hotel project in Zambales and look what happened.
He has either to post bail or go to jail!
The famous urban planner Jun Palafox was served an arrest warrant last week on a R50-million criminal libel case.
If he does not post a bail of R10,000 soon, he will go to jail. Truth to tell, he entertained the thought of doing the latter, if only to dramatize his innocence of the charge.
The whole case stems from a project to master plan a $120-million hotel casino last December 2008.
When he saw that the company wanted to cut down 366 trees in an urban area inside the Subic Freeport, he did not only oppose it but even gave up the project in protest along with the handsome $1-million professional fee.
Fortunately, Palafox got the support of President Macapagal Arroyo to whom he complained. The massacre of the trees was aborted.
Because the whole project was shelved, the proponent along with top Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Subic town officials is fighting back through harassment, death threats, slander and now slapping him with the said criminal case.
Someone close to Jun Palafox confided that there are other illegal multi-million transactions going on in there.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should look into the matter. I’m sure she doesn’t and in no way tolerate such corrupt practices.
In an interview in our DZMM tele-radyo program “Salitang Buhay” with Palafox said, “the moral values I learned in the seminary (Christ the King Seminary on E. Rodriguez Boulevard) cannot compromise with the shenanigans that are going on there.”
As regards Jun’s entering the seminary, he said that out of seven brothers, six entered the seminaries – Christ the King Seminary, Vigan Seminary, and CICM in Baguio!
Unfortunately, nobody made it to the priesthood,” Jun reminisced. “It seems it was our parents who had the vocation,” he chuckled.
Looking back, however, Jun admits it was the seminary formation and discipline that served as rock foundation of his life and career later.
“We have a set of guiding principles, foremost of which are integrity and honesty.” For instance, several times he begged off from some projects where his integrity would be compromised.
The heartwarming story of architect Felino Palafox Jr. and Associates brings honor to the whole Filipino nation, worthy of emulation by our youth.
He does not deserve shabby treatment.