Modernizing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is not a complete project without a railway component. Modern urban centers in the world build and design their airports with a rail link to improve the accessibility of passengers to downtown areas or, in some cases, suburbs or distant cities.
The International Air Rail Organization noted that there are around 200 airports around the world with rail links, but there could be 400 more in various stages of planning, design or construction.
The railway connection provides air passengers an option to avoid chaotic road traffic conditions in getting to their next immediate destination. American and European airports complement their airports with metros, or subways. The Vancouver airport in Canada, which handles around 18 million passengers yearly, is linked by the Canada Line―an automated light rail network serving a number of stations and downtown.
The London Underground in Europe has served Heathrow Airport since 1976 and has since been extended to Terminals 4 and 5. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France is served by the Réseau Express Régional, or RER, which is part metro, part regional express, with eight trains per hour taking around 30 minutes to the city.
Madrid’s Metro, meanwhile, has served Barajas Airport since 1999 and metros link Valencia, Lisbon and Porto Airports. Here in Asia, metros operate at airports in Beijing and Shanghai (Honggiao and Pudong) in China, Okinawa in Japan and Singapore.
So why upgrade NAIA without a rail link that could move air passengers to nearby provinces like Bulacan and Pampanga, or Laguna, Cavite and Batangas in the south with ease? The rail link could fetch the same passengers to Clark airport on their way to other domestic airports.
A new group led by six Filipino conglomerates and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners―called The Manila International Airport Consortium―made a fresh offer to the government to upgrade NAIA for over P100 billion.
Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Alliance Global–Infracorp Development Inc., Filinvest Development Corp. and JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp. are joining joining forces with Global Infrastructure Partners, one of the leading infrastructure investors and airport operators in the world, to rehabilitate NAIA to meet the growing air traffic demand.
The consortium, though, should feature an air-rail link to make NAIA a complete airport. Besides, it is more environment-friendly and sustainable than carbon-based transportation.
More than just a marriage gone sour
It is not showing on any streaming service but is being followed closely in chat groups, where leaked legal documents are providing lawyers and non-lawyers alike with a front-row seat to a marital spat between two high-powered lawyers––one of whom is a respected legal luminary in a “powerful” field of law, so to speak.
This new legal drama has captivated the profession like viewers hooked on a compelling show on Netflix. Lawyers have been waiting for each new “episode” to drop in order to know more about the allegations being thrown back and forth by their fellow compañero and compañera. They come in the form of draft complaints and affidavits that have revealed to the public the juicy, personal details of what should be a private legal dispute between a married couple who are inevitably headed for splitsville.
These include love letters, text messages, photos and graphic narrations from eyewitnesses. Never mind that as members of the bar consume and circulate these sensitive materials, they forget that these stories involve real real people and real families―including innocent children―who have been inadvertently been dragged into this messy affair.
Suffice it to say that the story these legal documents tell could give any teleserye a run for its money.
Of course, legal battles such as these are not that out of the ordinary. Lawyer-couples break up all the time, after all. But even when these are less than civil, they do not often become the subject of newspaper columns or viral fodder for the “marites” and “tolits” of the legal profession. What is curious is how these supposedly private legal documents―even draft versions―became available for everyone with a smartphone and active Viber group.
It turns out that there may be more to this legal drama than meets the eye. Well-placed members of the legal community say that this he-said, she-said tale is more than just a marriage gone sour. As one sharp-eyed legal eagle pointed out, even before news of the married couple’s troubles came out, one of the parties involved had made waves because of a career decision that led to the lawyer leaving his firm for one of the most influential and most high-profile law firms in the country.
Apparently, this lawyer-academic’s departure from his previous firm was not taken lightly––because when he transferred to his new office address, he not only brought with him talented associates, but a substantial number of clients whose fees contributed significantly to his old firm’s profits.
It appears that in retaliation, the husband’s former firm is exploiting his marital troubles by supporting the efforts of their former colleague’s wife to paint him as an unfaithful husband and inattentive father––since both the old firm and the wife stand to benefit if the husband’s character is put into question.
This ongoing legal drama should serve as a warning to lawyers to make every effort to ensure that their marital and professional break-ups are done amicably. Because as they say, hell hath no fury like a woman––or a law firm––scorned.