Of course, this is not about the Mamasapano massacre or President Noynoy’s desire to railroad the approval of the now controversial Bangsamoro bill pending in Congress.
This is about the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) now sporting a new look to the delight of hundreds of passengers arriving and departing in Manila on a daily basis.
The government has spent a huge amount of money to rehabilitate the 34-year old Terminal 1 to ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of arriving and departing passengers.
Unlike before, passengers were thrilled and happy about the big changes in the airport – from the air-conditioning system to the spotless bathrooms in the airport. The once yellow-stained and foul-smelling lavatories are reportedly being cleaned from time to time by airport janitors who also make sure that there are toilet papers available at all times.
The balding President BS Aquino was reported to be grinning from ear to ear after he and his yellow-clad t-shirt rah rah boys personally inspected the operations and security set ups at the airport. The balding President was in a joyful mood as he spoke with reporters while touring the newly rehabilitated facility.
This was a far cry from his interview with airport reporters in October of last year wherein NAIA was named as the world’s worst airport by most travel guide websites. Known for being irritable whenever he gets negative publicity, he told the media that he wants Congress to rename NAIA. He said he does not want the Aquino name to be dragged for anything that is negative and unpopular.
I think he should consider changing his last name too if that is his line of reasoning. The Aquino name will always be associated with the Luneta massacre where a number of tourists from Hong Kong were killed after being taken hostage by a disgruntled Manila policeman. The “Hacienda Luisita” massacre where seven unarmed farmers were killed and the recent Mamasapano massacre.
From 2011 to 2013, NAIA has consistently topped the list of the world’s worst airports on the travel website called “The Guide To Sleeping In Airports.” Tourists and balikbayans have complained for so long about the defective air conditioning system as well as dishonest airport porters and custom officials.
Last year, the country’s international airport standing slightly improved in the travel guide report. NAIA is no longer the world’s worst airport. It is now only the 4th worst airport in the world, next to Islamabad, Jeddah and Katmandu.
With the recent improvement of the country’s international airport, I hope it will now encourage more foreigners to take a serious look on the possibility of spending their next vacation this coming summer season.
In another development, President BS Aquino and his allies must be getting desperate for their inability to have the Bangsamoro bill enacted into law.
There are reports coming out from the lower house that Malacañang has offered “grease money” to members of Congress in exchange for the immediate passage of the controversial Bangsamoro bill.
The Bangsamoro bill has been shelved in the back burner following the brutal slaying of 44 police commandos who took part in an operation that resulted in the killing of a Malaysian terrorist and bomb expert named Zulkipli Bin Hir.
Although President Noynoy’s allies in the lower house are denying ever receiving the “grease money” to ensure the immediate approval of the Bangsamoro bill, more and more people are now inclined to believe that Malacañang has “brokered” the deal. “If there’s smoke, there’s a fire.”
This is a typical Malacañang ploy. This is what they did when they successfully impeached former Chief Justice Renato Corona. President Noynoy blamed Corona for the Supreme Court’s decision granting Hacienda Luisita farmers the right to own the land they have been tilling for years.
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, chairman of the Senate committee on local government was right in his decision to order temporarily the suspension of all discussions and hearings related to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. I agree with Senator Marcos that a peace agreement cannot be legislated under a threat of such extreme violence. Marcos was also right in saying that violence has no room in a civilized society.
The MNLF and even President Noynoy are saying that any delay in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law will only mean more “body bags” or more violence in Mindanao. I think the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is more than capable of diffusing any threat made by the MNLF and other Muslim rebel supporters to resort to more violence or killings.