Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Angara slams graft raps filed by Palafox
BALER, Aurora, September 20, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara slams international urban planner and architect Felino “Jun” Palafox in the creation of the economic zone in Aurora province accusing Palafox for violation of ethics for architects and environmental planners and sabotaging the development of the ecozone that is being developed in Eastern Central Luzon.
“When Palafox and Associates was awarded the design contract for the master plan of the Aurora ecozone after a public bidding in November of 2008, we welcomed what we thought then was a piece of good news. From his many TV interviews, Felino Palafox Jr. appears as a conscientious architect imbued with a civic spirit,” Angara said.
“How wrong we were,” he asked, saying that for a fee of P32 million, Palafox and Associates came out with a master plan that was declared useless by three government agencies: the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC).
“It was a sloppy piece of design work that proposed a seaport very near an airport. That shabby piece of architecture would endanger the whole project, according to the agencies that evaluated the technical and environmental soundness of the Palafox master plan,” Angara said in his statement.
The veteran Senator said that instead of correcting the design of Palafox, the self-proclaimed “internationally-known architect” engaged in an accusing binge after the rejection of his master plan. He called the ecozone project—that was initiated to lift underdeveloped areas on the coastal areas of Central Luzon into the 21st century—a “scam”.
“He accused us of benefitting from the project, which belongs to the government and where our participation is a requisite of the law creating the ecozone, a project that has been considerably derailed by the faulty and shabby design work of Palafox,” Angara said, explaining that if there was anybody that benefitted from the project it was Felino Palafox Jr.
“Palafox useless design work with a billing of P32 million, the administrators of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority have decided to take action against Palafox Jr. They have had enough of this phony,” Angara said.
Angara said that Palafox was accused of violating the code of ethics of architects before the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) and violating the code of ethics of environmental planners before the Environmental Planning Board under the commission.
“The two charges seek to strip him of his license, which, hopefully, would strip of him of the moral perch he has been using as platform for his professional bankruptcy and phoniness,” Angara ended.
Prior to this, Palafox Jr. has filed in a 5-page graft and corruption complaints against Angara and four others for allowing the creation of the ecozone in Aurora before the Ombudsman.
It was stated in his complaint that Angara allowed the creation of Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO) even if the area was prone to floods and landslides.
Palafox also raised the conflict of interest issue where the Angara’s relatives are supposedly members of the APECO board. (Jason de Asis)
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