Puentevella: No need to mention cases against me

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Saturday, July 5, 2014


BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella defended on Friday against criticisms the State of the City Address dubbed as “Ulat ni Monico” that he delivered Wednesday.

Some quarters said those he recognized in his speech such as Office of the Building Official (OBO) chief Engr. Isidro Sun Jr. and Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) head Reynaldo Ebreo are not worthy of recognition because of the controversies that involved their actions.

Puentevella said that he publicly recognized the two officials because he believes in their performance.

Sun reported that the income they generated from regulatory fees reached more than P29 million in 2013 while in the past administration, OBO only had a maximum income of P23 million.

The BTAO collected more than P3 million in various apprehensions of traffic violators.

"The recognition was an incentive for those who perform. When I assumed my position last year, I appealed to the employees to help me run the city by performing well because I know how to repay hard work,” Puentevella said.

The mayor added: “Since these two officials have performed, they deserve to be recognized also. I am not a superman who can do all these things for Bacolod thus, all those who help me is worthy of this tribute and recognition."

Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez said he disagrees with Puentevella when he praised the OBO which he felt was not very effective at all as well as the BTAO which was under fire for requiring public utility drivers and operators to purchase body stickers.

The mayor appears to be blind to reality, Lopez added.

As to the statement of Lopez that he did not mention the cases he is facing before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, Puentevella said there is no need to discuss the cases because there is no verdict yet.

Lopez said the mayor should have informed the people of what is the state of his cases because that is of public interest.

These are the things he lacks in terms of being sincere, the councilor said.

However, Puentevella said all the cases were politically motivated as these were filed during the campaign period in 2007.

He noted that the cases on the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) did not involve him.

Puentevella said that he served Congress for three terms or for nine years, but he was not included in the case filed by Congress.

Almost half of his former colleagues were allegedly involved in graft-ridden Janet L. Napoles foundations that amassed the P10 billion in PDAF funds.

"The cases against me were filed by a former City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan but never by Congress. Those who filed the cases against me wanted my position back. But look at what they have done to Bacolod? They buried Bacolod in debts. Imagine the P100 million a year that Bacolod is paying for the loans availed by the past administration? That money could have bought many medicines, books, police cars, among others," Puentevella said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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