MEXICO - A top official of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) said the issue to develop Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) has nothing to do with Al Kharafi's canceled contract.

"That issue has nothing to do with Al Kharafi. Actually, this could have been better if the deal of Al Kharafi was approved. Sayang talaga. Kung sanang nagtulungan sila for this deal, mas malaki pa ang magiging development sa DMIA," CIAC chairman Nestor Mangio said.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Last week, former Pampanga Press Club president Diosdado Pangilinan blamed the failure to develop the airport to the lack of insistence of CIAC officials to railroad the proposal of the Kuwaiti firm Al-Kharafi.

The Al-Kharafi had proposed to develop DMIA's Terminal 2 and wanted to operate all areas of the aviation complex including Terminal 1 but rejected by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo told CIAC officials to cut negotiations with Al-Kharafi because it was grossly disadvantageous to the Philippine government.

CIAC employees have also opposed the entry of Al-Kharafi in the Clark Civil Aviation Complex because they stand to lose their jobs.

Mangio lamented the lost opportunity for Al Kharafi to develop DMIA.

“The Al Kharafi chairman is ranked as the 57th billionaire in the world and Al Kharafi solely is for telecommunications, computers, real estate and hotels. Sayang na sayang.”

Mangio showed Sun.Star Pampanga a compilation of designs from other countries made by Al Kharafi that could have been templates for the development of DMIA. (Marlon P. Beltran)