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Garcia respects board choice of Villarete as airport chief

First Posted 07:16:00 10/23/2010

The appointment of Nigel Paul Villarete as the next manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) drew mixed reactions from Cebu officials.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will continue to welcome Villarete's inputs for the city's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, an airport board member, said she respects the board's decision to pick Villarete to succeed outgoing manager Danilo Francia.

Governor Garcia, who was absent during the board meeting when Villarete?s appointment was decided, clarified that she didn't oppose Villarete's appointment.

She said she respected the board's decision to pick him despite his affiliation with her arch political nemesis, Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City's south district.

?It is not about me getting my way in the board, it's about the collective consensus of all board members,? Garcia said.

She said she didn't oppose Villarete's bid for the airport GM post.

She said she even declined to name names for the MCIA general manager's post to avoid being perceived as favoring one candidate over the other.

Garcia said she only wanted due process to be followed in appointing the next MCIA general manager.

?Their (critics) thinking is that it's all about Osmeña and Villarete...it's Cebu we're talking about. I don't cast stones,? Garcia said.

The governor said she only hopes that Villarete would perform according to expectations, adding that Francia managed to raise the airport's revenues to over P1 billion.

For his part, Mayor Rama said he designated former councilor Nestor Archival to supervise the BRT project which they hope to be implemented by 2013.

He said the BRT was always Viillarete?s passion. ?With the tip of his fingers (Villarete knows it well)... as far as the BRT is concerned,? Rama said. Reporters Dale G. Israel and Fe Marie Dumaboc

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