Palafox’s faux pas (pardon the pun) or shall we believe this guy again?
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, December 10, 2010-First impression is lasting indeed. Or is it really so? Perhaps it depends on whose person who you are casting your impression with.

I am talking here of Felino Palafox Jr. - Jun – for short who strikes me at first as a respected architect and urban planner until well, lately when he committed blunders left and right and bellyached like a crybaby as though a kid whose lollipop was taken away from him by some mischievous playmates.

Palafox’s recent antics during a Senate committee hearing on the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone where he decried the alleged scam involving the ecozone may be impressive at first given his gift of gab. But also given his past history of mea culpa and bunglings, Palafox’s credibility is not exactly above suspicion like Caesar’s wife.
Looking back, this is the same Palafox who, in March last year claimed five public officials were involved in anomalies at the Subic Bay Freeport. He would then go on to text some of our colleagues in the media, claiming he has been receiving death threats because of his expose’ and that the media people should rally behind him and even pray for him.
Under such a predicament, one can only “commiserate” with him. Except that shortly afterwards, he committed a blooper or stupidity which to this day makes this guy suspect, if not lacking in credibility.

Know what? Shortly after his expose,’ the poor guy apologized for his allegations of anomalies at the SBMA but only after failing to substantiate his claims of conspiracy. One Virgilio Ilagan was damn right in saying “I’d just like to air my frustration with the fact that he seems to think that his apology is enough to take back the havoc he has wreaked.”
I fully agree when Ilagan remarked that Palafox’s “sorry” won’t take away his having tainted the names of those he dragged into the circus he created nor the loss of confidence of potential investors in the future. More importantly, his “sorry” destroyed the dreams of thousands of unemployed and impoverished Filipinos hoping to land a job at the Ocean 9 hotel-casino project.
“If only Palafox’s “sorry” can be converted into thousands of jobs, which our country direly needs in this time of global economic crisis,” Ilagan further commented.
“It maybe hearsay, or maybe factual. I’m sorry if it created a lot of trouble,” were Palafox’s exact words when he mouthed his now (in)famous sorry. Clearly, he did not put his guts to where his mouth is. He’s just like a cymbal: making much noise but signifying nothing.

It would be noteworthy to point out that Palafox, in accusing SBMA officials of the anomalies which he later retracted claimed he relied too much on the information reaching him.”I must apologize for the pain it might have caused. I’m just a taxpayer — I don’t have the resources to investigate. So maybe these should be referred to the NBI, the Ombudsman or to other agencies,” he said then.
Be that as it may, his bunglings then and his subsequent apology do not make Palafox any more credible now in his broadsides against Apeco. In claiming irregularities in Apeco, his motive is also quite suspect because he claims having not been paid his dues in spite of the fact that his design was rejected by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and other government agencies. 

While receiving dozens of millions of pesos for his work at Apeco, here is a guy who now claims that the project is shot full of scams. One can’t blame Sen. Ed Angara for pointing to Palafox as a “boastful” and “dishonest person.” With his history of grumbling and making an issue each time he does not get what he wants and later backtracking, I doubt whether Palafox still deserves to be heard or be given our attention.

With this whole column devoted to Palafox’s indiscretions, maybe I wasted my time harping and bashing on someone fond of making a circus out of social issues. It’s not worth it lambasting someone who has zero credibility. But hopefully, this will open the eyes of the public so that next time, when Palafox opens his mouth and tell tall tales again, not to take him seriously anymore.

Shall we listen, nay, believe this guy again? Ow c’mon. As they say, KSP lang ‘yang si Jun. (Jason de Asis)