Lapid PTA post linked to Kiko's senate prexy bid

Feature Archive--7/22/2010--Efren Montano, People's Tonight

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim brushed speculations that his silence on the fate of former Pampanga Gov. Mark Lapid as general manager and chief executive of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) is a trade off to win his father's vote in favor of Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan's bid for the senate presidency.

Talks re rife that Lapid is being retained in exchange for Sen. Lito Lapid's support for Pangilinan of the Liberal Party.

Lim said he is still evaluating Lapid's performance. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed the young Lapid, son of former movie actor and now Senator Lapid, in 2008.

PTA is a corporate entity attached to the DOT. It is tasked to harness the private sector into tapping available resources to boost the tourism industry.

Earlier, Lim has appointed businessman and former Intramuros administrator Jose "Junjun" Capistrano, Jr. to replace Anna Marie "Bambi" Harper as administrator of the historic walled city.

The Intramuros Administration is a DOT attached agency.

The Intramuros administrator is responsible for making the former seat of Spanish colonial rule into a prime urban tour destination in the country.

There are groups that want Harper to remain as Intramuros administrator.

Harper became controversial in 2008 when she allegedly allowed the cutting of decades-old trees at the Plaza de Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral.

Meanwhile, Atty. Dading Clemente, president of the Federation of Tourism Industries of the Philippines, welcomed Lim's appointment by President Noynoy Aquino III at the helm of the DOT.