Saturday, November 8, 2014

Support for Drilon, Singson, Jimenez over ‘baseless and malicious’ allegations on ICC, inspiring

MANILA-The Office of the Senate President is very grateful for the outpouring of support to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon amidst the malicious, absurd and baseless allegations hurled against him, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez in connection with the construction of the yet to be completed Iloilo Convention Center.
“The Office of the Senate President is thankful for the public’s tremendous support for Senate President Drilon. That people from all walks of life went out of their way, with some using their social networking sites, to defend him and express their disapproval and dismay at unfounded allegations regarding the much-awaited Iloilo Convention Center is very heartening and inspiring,” said Atty. Alu Dorotan, head of the legal team of the Office of the Senate President. 

“It only shows that the people know wholeheartedly that Drilon, Singson and Jimenez are good men, who only want the best for the country. The people believe in the ICC and what it can do for the development and promotion of tourism in the country,” Dorotan stressed.

Dorotan said the Senate chief is “thankful and humbled” by everyone who has expressed support amid this assault against him and the much-awaited ICC.

“You can never put a good man down,” she added.

Earlier, members of the business community as well as local leaders in Iloilo rallied behind the three officials who were made respondents to a plunder case in connection with the construction of the ICC.

Former Tourism Secretary Narzalina Lim, who served under the administrations of former presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, and Dr. Alfonso Uy, president emeritus of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., are among the signatories to a manifesto of support for Drilon, Singson and Jimenez.

Dorotan said Lim and Uy, with several others, said “(they) condemn the people who are out to thwart progress in Iloilo by maligning these dedicated public servants who have only the best interests of the country and Iloilo at heart.”

Quoting from the manifesto, Dorotan further said that the business community in Iloilo said “(they) have never seen someone so dedicated to the cause of Iloilo than Sen. Drilon. We therefore find it preposterous that a plunder case should be filed against him for the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.”

Dorotan emphasized that the 11,693.79 square meters ICC is primarily a tourism project under the Department of Tourism with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highway which supervised the bidding.

She underscored that the ICC, which is equivalent to a seven-storey building, isa realization of a lifelong dream of the residents of Panay Island to have their own iconic, highly impressive and sophisticated convention center. “It aims to draw local and international guest for large-scale conventions, summits, congresses, trade fairs and exhibits, and other important events and put the country - particularly Western Visayas - on the business tourism map,” Dorotan said.

 “The ICC will also spur the creation of new jobs and other livelihood opportunities for the residents of Iloilo and neighboring areas. As proof of the ICC’s potential, new hotels near the ICC site are already being constructed,” she concluded. 


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