The manager of the Laguin-dingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro City questioned the authority of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) deputy director general John Andrews who ordered his reassignment from the airport to the Pasay headquarters.
Naga Rascal refused to heed the order to report to the CAAP headquarters in Pasay as part of the regular rotation of personnel, saying that he would follow only the agency’s board resolution.
Rascal was recalled to the CAAP headquarters in Pasay City.
Rascal reportedly claimed that he is being targeted for reshuffle because of his religion. He is the first Muslim to be named airport manager of a major airport.
In a memorandum order signed by Andrews, managers and officers in charge were relieved from their respective posts to be reassigned to another position, in line with the present restructuring of the authority that took effect on July 1.
One of those affected personnel is Rascal who will be replaced by Danila Abarreta.
“It is management’s prerogative. We have to shift people around,” Andrews stressed, saying that the agency has nothing against Muslims.
Andrews said before his order was sent to all major airport personnel, the affected officials had been summoned to attend a meeting at the CAAP headquarters last April and was informed about the rotation plan.
“All of these were discussed during a strategic planning workshop. Everybody was a signatory to this last April, long before the Cebu Pacific incident. Everybody signed the covenant and all agreed that nobody is going to be demoted,” Andres said.
He added that Rascal has doctorate and master’s degrees, “so we would like to bring him here to make use of his talents.”
Andrews also said that even if those who disagree with his order do not want to recognize his authority, the official is sure that that Director General William Hotchkiss would surely uphold him.
Hotchkiss, who was interviewed at the airport upon arrival from Brussels to present documents for the lifting of the European Union blacklist recently, said that “As long as Andrews have signed it, it’s approved.”