Espinoza: A waste of much needed resources?

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia must be so delighted and elated after signing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of National Defense (DND) represented by Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. for the reason that the Provincial Government will keep custody of the 19 lots utilized by the Visayas Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

The signing of the MOA was witnessed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. PBBM was here on Monday for the groundbreaking of the Package 1 of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project at Fuente Osmeña Circle in Cebu City and other events. The signing of the MOA signals that Capitol can now take over these prime lots where the Viscom offices and logistics are housed. The news story, however, did not specify where these 19 lots are located inside the camp.

What bothers me though is the wastage of the government’s much needed funds and resources that could have been used for other noble purposes. The AFP just recently completed a new building about two or three stories for the army’s engineering battalion offices and the concreting of the road networks inside the camp. The recently completed building and the concreting of the road network could have cost billions of pesos, and that’s a lot of money for us taxpayers.

Does this suggest that the responsible officers of the AFP failed to foresee what would happen to the military camp? They still constructed new buildings and had the roads concreted.

After six decades, the Cebu Provincial Government has taken back these lots that are now prime properties after Ayala Land had developed the land that was used to be the Lahug Airport, which is near the military camp.

It was in 1959 that then governor Jose Briones donated the 80 hectares of land to the AFP for its third military area camp that became Camp Lapulapu, which housed the headquarters and offices of the AFP Central Command. The late governor Pablo Garcia, the father of the current governor, rescinded the donation in 1995 for the reason that some parcels of land were used as golf driving range and homes for the military personnel.

What I know is that all military camps in the country have spaces for their athletics and well-being. This could be the reason that the responsible officers of the AFP established the golf driving range in Camp Lapulapu. Other military camps like the Mactan-Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City, and Camp Aguinaldo, Villamor Air Base and the Philippine Navy in Metro Manila have golf courses and driving ranges. So, in other words, it has a good purpose.

I hope I get it right that Capitol will hand over P1 billion to the AFP for the latter to build its new headquarters in a planned relocation site—a 1,050-hectare property between the municipalities of Tuburan and Tabuelan.

What will happen to the new edifices that AFP had built inside Camp Lapulapu? Would Capitol demolish all the structures inside the camp? If that happens, all I can say is this: What a waste of money!


The hazards of the profession: SunStar Cebu reported that members of the raiding team of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) that raided the e-sabong cockpit in Minglanilla have been charged before the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing P8.3 million of the firm’s income.

But NBI 7 Director Rennan Oliva, in a text message, said it’s a dirty trick perpetrated by the e-sabong syndicates, who continued to defy the President’s order that stops e-sabong. This is similar to the drug syndicates, he said. The NBI officials will answer the complaint as soon as they receive the subpoena.