Ateneo alumnus takes over Intramuros

Tourism Secretary-designate Alberto Lim has named businessman Jose “Junjun” Capistrano Jr. to replace Anna Marie “Bambi” Harper as administrator of Intramuros. Capistrano fits the bill of one who would make Intramuros “ truly a heritage site, a destination that Manila needs,” Lim said. Capistrano, former president of the Ateneo Alumni Association, had served as Intramuros overseer during the term of the then President Cory Aquino but his tenure was cut short when he was named chief of the Philippine Tourism Authority. As PTA chief, Capistrano helped privatize Fort Ilocandia. But Lim remained mum on the fate of former Pampanga Governor Mark Lapid as general manager and chief executive of the PTA. Lapid, son of senator Lito Lapid, was appointed by Arroyo in 2008. Lim brushed aside allegations that Lapid was being retained in exchange for his father’s support for the administration’s bet in the Senate presidency, Senator Francis Pangilinan. “He was there for two years already so he was a concession in the last administration or he was capable. I still have to evaluate his performance. It’s very hard to evaluate the performance of the PTA,” Lim said. Lapid’s fate as PTA head remains uncertain, but that of Harper has been sealed soon after President Aquino has taken office. Lim described Harper a “very accomplished culturati” but she is co-terminus with former President Arroyo. Harper triggered controversy in 2008 when she allegedly allowed the cutting of decades-old trees at the Plaza de Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral. The Environment department under then Secretary Joselito Atienza initiated the filing of a case against Harper.