Worse than the worst airport in the world

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - May 8, 2014 - 12:00am

I was in Manila for a day trip last Tuesday and it was the first time that I took Air Asia Zest Flt. Z-2764 just for the heck of it. I was surprised that they had a very new red-painted Airbus and it reminded me that this airline started here as Asian Spirit, which was then bought by Zest Air, who ended up being swallowed by the Malaysian Air Asia. Their pilot was so good; he landed in NAIA putting only the airbrakes and didn’t even have to use his reverse thrusters as we exited into the fast exit towards the terminal

Things were great until we reached the terminal. Holy Guacamole! We ended up at the old…old Manila Domestic Terminal! That for me was a big surprise! Come now… wasn’t the NAIA Terminal One considered the World’s worst airport? Upon deplaning from the Air Asia Airbus we entered this old terminal and I immediately notice that their comfort room had only two urinals available. I guess it’s not the terminal’s fault after all, this terminal was built when the DC-3’s, the Friendship Fokker’s and the Vickers Viscounts were still in service and few people could afford take an airplane.

Upon my return flight still on Air Asia Zest Flt. Z 2382, the old terminal was crowded packed like a sardine can and the air-conditioning was barely able to cool the place. We had to stand as many passengers were already sitting on the floor. Incidents like this get you into thinking… why has the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) allowed the continued operation of the old Manila Domestic Terminal? Is this their way of poking at the official slogan of the Tourism Department, “It’s more fun in the Philippines?” Well, it wasn’t any fun for me that I’m sure that those passengers weren’t happy either. This joke is really on the Filipino people!

What further intrigued me was a section inside this old battered domestic terminal, which was its International Section. I couldn’t believe me eyes when I saw that. I’ve always thought that our MIAA officials were sane people and put all international flights in NAIA 1, 2 & 3. In my book, this is the height of their stupidity. It is also illogical to allow international flights on a terminal that barely meets our domestic standards. If you ask me, they should have burned that terminal a long time ago!

So to those who say that the NAIA One terminal had the honor of being dubbed as the world’s worst airports… well they ought to look at the old Manila Domestic or Terminal 4 which also has its own miniscule International Airport section because I would like to believe that it beats the Terminal One as the world’s worst International airport by a mile!

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What’s happening to this country? The Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was quoted saying, “I cannot be pressured to release the list at this point…I will do so in due time — upon the completion of the Napoles statement and the vetting process.” I hope that she wasn’t misquoted when she used the word “vetting” because I already heard some pundits say the “betting” process. What the DoJ Secretary ought to do is tell us the exact precise time when all this will be done so we won’t be pressuring her to release it.

However here is the clincher, she apparently agreed with the observation of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate can compel her to release that list to a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation. But just think… will the Senate really compel her to disclose the names on that list? Almost everyone already knows that there are a number of Senators in that list…many of them allied to Pres. Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino, III. So again, do you think that these Senators are eager to shoot themselves on the foot?

To add to the drama, Malacañang spokesman Sec. Herminio Coloma said, “Public officials associated with the administration will be treated in the same manner as all others. Their alleged involvement in anomalies will be scrutinized thoroughly to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence to file appropriate charges against them.” What he is saying is… Malacañang had issued no gag order to prevent the names of its allies from leaking out.

How I wish it were true because too many people that I meet on the streets and in coffeehouses strongly believe that if the names inside that list contained only the names of the political enemies of President Aquino… that list would have already been exposed to the media before Holy Week. Almost everyone believes Sec. de Lima is holding on as long as she can because as she already pointed out to the media the names of that list was “explosive”.

At this point, even if the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee issued an order to force the DoJ Secretary to reveal the contents of that list…let me say it here once more… that the Senate already lost its moral ascendancy to investigate the pork scam for the simple reason that too many Senators are involved in what people are openly saying in public… the greatest corruption case in this country is the organized crime syndicate in the Legislature!

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E-mail: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com.


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