Bzzzzz: Can they rename Ninoy airport? Young refuted on claim about chickens but jokes go on.

Removing Aquino’s honor

APPARENTLY, Congress can rename the Ninoy Aquino international airport, by legislation. So can the President, by proclamation. The present move is initiated in the House of Representatives by a group of three congressmen led by the president’s son Rep. Paolo Duterte, the first of 22 deputy speakers.

The international airport is named after Benigno Aquino Jr., a former senator. Ninoy is honored with a Ninoy Aquino Day, as decreed by Republic Act #9256, but the law, approved by then President Gloria Arroyo in 2004, does not call him a “hero.”

Ninoy is not a former president. Neither is he technically a hero. If he were either, NAIA could still be legally renamed provided the person replacing him in the honor were a person of lesser importance. Even then, the proposed new name is not the name of a person: “Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.”

Wrong info about those chickens

Where initial information from the accuser, Cebu City Councilor Joy Young, and one of the accused, Busay Milo chief Yody Sanchez, got it wrong about those chickens:

[1] On the number and kind of chickens donated by a Thai food company to Cebu City. Young in a June 17 privilege speech said there were 17,000 dressed chickens and he received reports that members of the Mayor’s Information and Laison Office in Barangah Busay were selling them.

They were live chickens and there were 16,464 of them. Plus an unspecified number of dressed chickens donated by the distributor of the main donor. Services for the dressing and storage would’ve cost P300,000 but were also given free.

[2] On the status of the chickens: Propaganda set off by Young’s inquiry kept hammering on the “missing” chickens, which continues even after the public correction, when they were never missing. They were distributed to a number of barangays in the city just as the other set of donated chickens (20,000 live ones) to the Association of Barangay Councils through Councilor Frankly Ong were distributed to barangays as well. Both distributions were done sometime in May (between May 20 and 25, in the case of the donations to the city). They could not have been missing since then as they were already consumed by the beneficiaries.

Correction by Edu

The rumor that was spread about the chickens given to the city alleged their sale for profit by people identified with the administration Partido Barug.

There was no such rumor about the chickens turned over to ABC, who is led by Councilor Ong. That was partly because ABC publicly acknowledged receipt of the ABS share and ABC authorized its acceptance in a resolution.

In contrast, the hush-hush about the city’s share fueled suspicion that it was diverted for private gain. Even after Young’s June 17 speech, Councilor Edu Rama didn’t speak out, not until June 24 at the City Council, even as the issue raged in the media. Until now, teasers and jokes about chickens, at times tied to the “bogo” remark, continue.

Barug lost a lot in the propaganda war and could take more time to wipe out the bad image from the transaction. Barug still has to account for the chickens to auditors, even as Franklyn Ong must account for ABC’s share. It is assumed that both Rama and Ong have the receipts that can stand scrutiny by government auditors.

Mike’s role

An interesting footnote is that it was not Vice Mayor Mike Rama who had a large role in the distribution of the chickens for the city.

The early information was that VM Mike asked for financial help from the Thai company for the south district’s Noah quarantine/isolation center in the south district. Instead, the firm donated chickens. Mike must have entrusted the distribution to Councilor Edu, who bore the brunt of explaining to the public.

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