CDC head cleared of corruption allegations

CLARK FRREPORT -- The Clark Investors and Locators Association (Cila) has issued a manifesto that clears the beleaguered head of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) of corruption allegations.

The manifesto, which was signed by Cila president Joselito Go, belied reports of allegations of extortion hurled against CDC president Noel Manankil.

“We are in utter disbelief that CDC President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Noel F. Manankil is allegedly involved in extorting money in exchange for grants of permits to operate in Clark Freeport,” the manifesto states.

Proving Manankil’s respectability and Cila’s rally behind the official was a survey conducted by the said organization among its members after news reports of corruption charges.

“Based on the results (of survey), no one had any kind of any irregularity with CDC and to Mr. Manankil in particular. Furthermore, not a single member-locator called our attention to affirm the alleged money extortion nor was there any complaint of any irregularity,” the manifesto stated.

It added that “what is even more appalling is the manner in which the malicious and unproven allegation was done to destroy the character of a very honest and upright individual.”

Cila called for an impartial and immediate and in-depth investigation by the concerned government agency “to spare Mr. Manankil from further embarrassment and dishonor that he does not deserve.”

When news pointing to Manankil quoted an unnamed source was published on a national daily newspaper, both Go and Cila Chairman Steven Virata immediately issued separate statements.

In the June 30 issue of the Philippine Star, Go said “no one among them (referring to Cila members) has reported allegations of corruption against CDC head”.

In the news account, Go branded the allegations as “black propaganda.”

Virata was also quoted in the July 1 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying, “We have great faith in Noel Manankil. We have worked with him and there has no incidence of impropriety.”

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce Industry Inc. (PCCI) Regional Governor for Central Luzon Francisco Villanueva Jr. signed the “manifesto of support for the current leadership of CDC” in behalf of the PCCI members in the entire region.

For his part, Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Levy Laus said “we’re glad the President (Duterte) has cleared the air on the issue of alleged bribery involvement because it vindicated our own sentiment and position on the integrity of Manankil.”

Another business group in Pampanga, the Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (Macci) has approved on its June 30 meeting a “Resolution Expressing Confidence in the Leadership of Manankil” because his leadership “has been marked by good governance and true concern for the welfare of its stakeholders.”

The resolution signed by Macci President Arsenio Valdes said that there has been “improved business climate inside the Clark Freeport Zone as well as the rest of the Metro Angeles Area.”

Global Clark Asset Corp. president Nora Bitong stated in her letter to the CDC Board of Directors that “I have known Mr. Manankil the past twenty years and I have never encountered any corruption from him.”
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