‘I was surprised with Ayala's pull out’ - Benitez-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
REPRESENTATIVE Albee Benitez (3rd district) said he was surprised with the pullout of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) of its project on the Capitol properties.
"Frankly, I was very surprised. They've joined in the bidding process to participate in the project, but I don't know their reasons for the pullout," Benitez said.
When asked for reaction on speculations that he is behind the delayed action of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the Capitol-Ayala contract, Benitez said, "They should not be looking only at the COA ruling because there's still the case in court. The case will have to be resolved."
He said in fact, he wouldn't be surprised if COA is waiting for the decision of the court because, “What happens if the COA rules on one side and the court decides on the other?”
As to the candle-lighting activity held by the business groups in the province as a sign of their mourning over the loss of the P6.6-billion investment, Benitez said, "If it's really to express the sadness of their pulling out, maybe we should look at the other investor, other possible companies that would like to put their investment here."
Ayala has cited the delayed action of the central office of COA for its pullout from the Capitol project.
Meanwhile, Benitez clarified that he was probably the one who broke the ice with Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco about the discontentment of some mayors with Governor Alfredo Marañon but he was not the only one talking about that.
"In fact, if you read it in newspapers, the same sentiments were heard from the board members," he said.
This after Cojuangco in a press conference last week revealed that Benitez on May 2, 2012 informed him of the discontentment and non-support of the majority of the mayors against Marañon.
Benitez, on the other hand, also said that he has no ambition to be the next political king maker in Negros. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 24, 2012.