3-MAN CABINET COMMITTEE TO SUPERVISE TEMPORARY NAIA-3 TAKEOVER

Manila, July 3, 2003 By Marichu Villanueva (Star)  The newly created three-man Cabinet oversight committee will be supervising the governmentís "temporary takeover" of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3), once the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the contracts covering the project.

Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said yesterday this is one of the functions of the oversight committee led by Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

President Arroyo formed the oversight committee through Administrative Order 75, dated June 25, a copy of which was earlier obtained by The STAR.

The President also named Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza and Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon to the oversight committee.

Bunye told reporters that the Presidentís creation of the committee is the governmentís way of preparing for the final Supreme Court ruling that would uphold its May 5 decision that voided the NAIA 3 contracts.

The Supreme Court en banc set aside as null and void the award of the contract for the construction, operation and maintenance of NAIA 3, as well as the concession agreement for the build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangement of this project with the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco).

"The High Court indeed mentioned the occasion for a temporary takeover. So I think that is the context in which this committee is working on," Bunye said.

He said that in the Supreme Courtís decision, "it called for a temporary takeover by the government of the facilities of NAIA 3. So this group headed by Roxas would outline the steps that would be taken to protect the facilities of NAIA 3."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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