CLARK FREEPORT – Defense for beleaguered Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President and Chief Executive Officer Noel Manankil found their way in social media and news articles following allegations of corruption against him published in one national daily.
Since taking a leave of absence to give way to an unimpeded investigation, Facebook and leading newspapers have been awash with post and comments that vouch for the honesty and integrity of Manankil.
Philippine Ambassador to Iraq Elmer Cato said in his personal FB account that he does not believe the accusations against Manankil.
“I know CDC President Noel Manankil. He is a fellow Cabellero (Chevalier School in Angeles City), La Salian (De La Salle University) and Angeleno. I do not believe the allegations against him,” Cato said in his post. Both Cato and Manankil hail from Angeles City.
He added that: “If someone wants his seat, all he has to do is ask and am sure Noel would gladly give way. He never aspired for that position (referring to CDC Presidency) anyway.”
Cato’s post elicited positive FB comments from various personalities that include Pampanga Press Club President Deng Pangilinan, broadcaster and ‘Indie’ actress Cecile Yumul, Kapampangan historian and businessman Marco Nepomuceno that attested to the character of Manankil.
Rene Romero, vice chairman of Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Pamcham) also reacted and refuted the allegations.
He said from his FB page: “I read in the other news items that Pres. Manankil was mentioned as the person President Duterte was referring to in his speech, I’m surprised and can’t believe that CDC Pres. Noel can do the allegation.”
“It’s so sad to know that a good person like Pres. Noel whom I know for many years that he is honest and works hard for the development (of) Clark is now being charged of corruption. Pres. Noel Manankil is not corrupt!”
Published news articles of interviews with prominent personalities also vouched for Manankil.
In Sunstar’s Saturday edition, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said that that the report is premature since President Duterte has ordered for an investigation regarding the accusations against Manankil.
“Premature ang story versus Noel, papa-investigate pa yun ng president,” Pamintuan said. The mayor said that the people will know the truth in a few days. “There could also be a possibility that somebody is interested in Manankil’s position.”
Reacting to the FB post of former CDC Manager Millete Caparas, Pamintuan also said “Whoever will differ from what Millete said on Noel does not know the fellow.”
Caparas, now based in the US, narrated in her FB post how Manankil exemplified honesty and integrity.
“If the goal for the current President is to keep honest people in his team. I am saying this in outmost certainty NOEL is the right man for that job. Noel has no political agenda. Neither does he have lifestyle that requires power and money… he is an ordinary guy who just want to do and earn decently,” Caparas’ posted in her FB account.
Earlier, Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) Chair Steven Virata and President Josh Go also defended Manankil in separate news articles published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star respectively.
The article published in the Inquirer (July 01, 2017 issue) quoted Virata, chair of CILA as saying, “We have great faith in Noel Manankil. We have worked with him and there has no incidence of impropriety.”
While the article published in the Philippine Star (June 30, 2017 issue) 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.
In separate interview, Angeles City Councilor Jay Sangil, chairman of Sangguniang Panglunsod Committee on Clark Freeport and former president of Clark Field Association of Journalists said he has kept track of the developments inside Clark Freeport both as media man and public servant.
“Of all people, Mr. Manankil would figure in allegation of corruption? It’s definitely not in his character. Reports of his involvement in any wrongdoing are certainly false,” Sangil said.
“I have known him from his rank and file days to being manager up til his appointment as vice president and as head of CDC. I know his background. I know his family,” the journalist-turned-politician added.
Other private sectors have also expressed support to Manankil including the Network of Independent Travels and Allied Services Philippines Incorporated (Nitas), Mac Talampas of Xenia Hotel in Clark Freeport and El Kabayo Sheriff Gabriel La O, both locators here. The Association of Concerned CDC Employees or Acces attested for Manankil’s integrity.