SAN FRANCISCO, California (The Adobo Chronicles, San Francisco Bureau) – The Adobo Chronicles ran into Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes at Fisherman’s Wharf in the City by the Bay and we asked to sit down with him for an ambush interview at a nearby, nondescript coffee shop. We wanted to get his take on the recent Senate hearing called by his colleague Grace Poe regarding the NAIA handling of the Xiamen plane derailment.
NAIA, of course, stands of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Many Filipinos have demanded that it be renamed Manila International Airport (MIA).
Here’s a transcript of our interview with Trillanes:
AC: It’s good to see you in San Francisco, Mr. Senator. What brings you here?
TRILLANES: Just bamming around — I mean bumming around — trying to feel the pulse of San Franciscans on issues important to their city. I hope to learn new things that we ourselves can pursue in the Philippines.
AC: You’re here on government dime?
TRILLANES: Yes. It’s actually an official trip… in aid of legislation.
AC: Let’s talk about the recent Senate hearing on the Xiamen plane incident at NAIA. How is that “in aid of legislation?”
TRILLANES: You didn’t hear this from me…but I think it is Grace Poe’s idea of “in aid of reelection.”
AC: NAIA’s reputation seems to have been tarnished for many years now: laglag bala, airconditioners not working, roof leaking and collapsing, long queues everywhere, overcrowding and flight delays, missing items from passengers’ luggages and balikbayan boxes upon reaching baggage claim, and now this Xiamen plane incident. Is there hope for NAIA to recover from being constantly named one of the worst airports in the world?
TRILLANES: Between you and me, I think we should totally abandon NAIA and build a new airport in Manila, not in Pasay City. I think we can reclaim parts of Manila Bay next to the existing Mall of Asia (MOA). Then we can call it Manila International Airport or MIA. Wouldn’t it be cool to have MIA at MOA?
AC: So what do you propose we do with the soon-to-be-extinct NAIA?
TRILLANES: It could be put to good use. Let’s convert it into high-end housing projects and distribute the units to members of Kadamay. Now, don’t you think that’s a brilliant idea? We’re solving two problems at the same time — building a world-class airport and solving our housing crisis.
AC: Would you still name the housing project after Ninoy?
TRILLANES: Of course not. What did Ninoy do to deserve any project named after him? Well, since it’s my bright idea, I would name it after me — ATKHP or Antonio Trillanes Kadamay Housing Project. And since my term as Senator is almost up, I wouldn’t mind being named the Administrator of this new project.
AC: What a legacy this would be from your fine and dedicated service to the country — both as coup plotter and Senator.
TRILLANES: I like your take on things, Adobo — not unlike that fake news company Rappler.
(At this point, the operator of a passing San Francisco Cable car rang his bell. It also marked the end of our interview with the Senator)