THERE is an ongoing hunt for the P14.4 billion in premium payment for the upgrading of the Mactan Cebu International Airport. Former Cebu governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña, in an interview he gave to reporters recently, said he hopes most Cebuanos could benefit from the money instead of some other people.
It was in April 2014 when the GMR-Megawide consortium paid the premium to the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) after it was awarded the 25-year contract to construct the airport’s second passenger terminal.
Indeed, it is better to find out which way the money went because, after all, it is supposed to benefit all the people, regardless of who he may be.
Osmeña, the aspiring governor-returnee, told President Noynoy Aquino in a letter: “Malampuson ka sa pagbaligya sa garbo ug dungog sa Sugboanon sa sunod nga 25 ka tuig sa kantidad nga P14.4 bilyones sa mga langyaw,” referring to the airport project and GMR-Megawide.
The former governor who obviously wants to experience again the headaches that he used to suffer during the time when he was governor, said somebody had whispered to him that the plan now of the Liberal Party (LP) is to use government money as campaign funds in the coming elections, considering that the LP is in control.
In a remark he made about the P14.4 billion, Osmeña said his dreams for Cebu would be realized with that amount of money. He said there would no longer be flooding, that we will have plenty of water (not water from the flood that we would always have when heavy rain fall). Rather we would be flooded with water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) as the case may be--water that is consumable, or safe water.
Osmeña said that in 1990, when the President’s mother Cory was president, she signed into law the MCIA charter, or Republic Act 6958 that gave autonomy to the MCIAA. But PNoy reversed this by signing Republic Act 10149. Osmeña now believes that the proceeds will end up in Manila.
The stakeholders in Cebu had asked in October last year that the premium paid should not be turned over to the National Government. Instead, part of the amount should be used for the improvement of the airport’s runway, which could cost the government more than one billion pesos.
When asked about his health and his running for governor in the elections next year, Lito used his brother, Toledo City Mayor John “Sonny” Osmeña, as example. He noted that Sonny is four years older than him and he is doing well.
“Daghan ko’g depekto pero mahibawo ko mo-fight, mosukol pa,” he said. Osmeña said his running is also his way of rectifying his mistakes. One of his mistakes, he said, was supporting the candidacy of Hilario Davide III for Cebu governor in 2013. Davide won but Osmeña criticized the way he is running the province.