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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Mercado: Uncle Peping

IF HE does not succeed in ousting P-Noy from Malacanang, the President’s uncle Jose “Peping” Cojuangco who is head of the Philippine Olympic Committee is succeeding in having his way via the BCDA and the Clark International Airport Corp.

News reports said that Cojuangco’s long time obsession to establish a three billion-peso National Training Center for Sports at Capas and Clark is gaining legislative support.

CIAC president Emigdio Tanjuatco, Jr., said to be Uncle Peping’s favorite nephew toured his uncle and group to the Clark Freeport zone for an ocular inspection of the proposed 50 hectares of CIAC land for use of the training center.

The BCDA is also allotting some 34 hectares in addition for a total of 84 hectares of prime land in the vaunted Clark Green City.

Tarlac officials commended the former Speaker and congressman for his continued influence with President Aquino’s allies in the House led by Rep. Anthony del Rosario of Davao.

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When this gigantic sports infrastructure shall have been built, Uncle Peping can finally retire, rest assured of a great legacy project in his home province and Pampanga.

While President Noy has been reaping sustained public contempt for his failure to fully develop Clark airport into a global gateway, his uncle is now enjoying wide approbation for his brilliant brainchild, with the full support of nephew Dino of CIAC.

Pampanga residents keep asking why CIAC honcho Dino Tanjuatco is gung-ho over donating 50 hectares of valuable real estate to the Olympic Committee when sports training is the farthest thing to making the Clark airport the alternative international gateway. Anyone with a broken crystal ball can guess what’s in the future for all concerned.

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Certain sports officials questioned the huge land area being allotted to the training center. A football field and an Olympic size running oval would not use 3 hectares. Track and field may require 5 hectares, including that for boxing, archery and the other events.

It is not farfetched to foretell when big business invades the training center. Its officials, like that of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, can lease or sublease commercial areas for a song.

Rep. Joseller Guiao who supports Cojuangco all the way estimated the Center costs P3.5 billion to build. I can foresee the coach-lawmaker citing this project during the 2016 campaign.

Guiao’s dream for a sports training center at Clark is a counterpoint to former Rep. Carmelo Lazatin’s dream of a Disneyland in the Freeport zone. Mang Tarzan is expected to reclaim his seat in the House. His fantasy island proposal received quite an acclaim.

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The final say and future action on Uncle Peping’s blockbuster project will depend on President Noy’s support and approval.

But how could P-Noy be persuaded to throw his support to the project when his uncle is demanding his resignation and asking for his ouster? It is contrary to reason- foolhardy even- to reward someone who desires your downfall, friend or foe, uncle or nephew.



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