CLARK FREEPORT— Beleaguered Clark Development Corporation President and CEO Noel Manankil received an outpouring of support and defense from investors, businessmen, government executives, renown leaders and politicians in reaction to a Philippine Star news article that alleges his involvement in corruption in Clark.
Heading the list who vouched for the CDC head is Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) President Josh Go whose defense of Manankil was published in the Philippine Star.
The article quoted Go as saying “no one among them (referring to CILA members) has reported allegations of corruption against CDC head”.
The allegation was purely “black propaganda,” Go was quoted as saying.
Former CDC and Bases Conversion Development Authority Director Max Sangil also refuted the allegations.
In his Facebook account, Sangil said: “Ï know Noel and his family, he is a decent fellow, the last person who will do illegal things.”
His post elicited comments from no less than former BCDA Chairman and SMBA Chair Felicito Payumo.
“I have to vouch for him, too. When I was BCDA chair, there was not a hint that Noel was involved in any anomaly.”
A series of reactions was also posted by Angeles City Councilor Edu Pamintuan who said “Wrong info…tsk..kabait ng Koya Noel”, while noted civic leader Marni Castro said, “So True…A Man of Great Integrity.”
Former Bacolor Mayor and now Board Member Jun Canlas said: I agree Noel is decent, hardworking and honest public servant.”
SFA Semicon President and CEO Byeongchun Lee is also attesting that “at no instance was there is any incident or any implied communication from President Manankil, or from any of the officials of CDC, that involved any form or insinuation of bribery in any form whatsoever.”
The statement was in the form of letter sent to former CDC President and now Secretary of Transportation Arthur Tugade. It added, “We (SFA Semicon) remain committed to continue to contribute to the economic and industrial development of the Philippines in line with the current Administration’s highly commendable drive for governance and integrity.”
SFA is formerly called PSPC (Phoenix Semiconductor Phils. Corp), a subsidiary of Samsung.
Gabriel Lao, owner of the Clark Riding Stables, Inc., also said that there is a need to check out the veracity of the charges hurled against Manankil, adding that “it is not consistent with the personality and character of the gentleman that we know.”
“We hope that a unbiased and thorough investigation be immediately conducted; and when completed clear his names and person; with a formal apology by his detractors and accusers.”
Another locator in Clark, Mac Talimpas, General Manager of Xenia Hotel, said that “when you (Manankil) were appointed as President of CDC as replacement for the now Secretary of the Department of Transportation Arthur Tugade, I felt a heavy lump in my throat, as my pre-conceived impression of you ‘terrifies’ me. Over time, I became more comfortable as the works of your management were eventually being felt by the Freeport Zone. I realize that you are indeed a work ethics driven person.”