Lazatin: Loans above board

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Monday, March 18, 2013


ANGELES CITY -- The camp of first district Representative Carmelo Lazatin said the loans incurred by his administration, when he was the city mayor, were above board.

Lazatin issued the statement in reaction to statements accusing him of alleged irregularities.

Lazatin asked Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan to focus instead on how to explain the city’s current “sorry” financial state and the illegal use of its resources by his political party Partido Abe Kampangan (PAK), rather than unearthing the debts incurred in 2003 to 2007, which are all legal and “above board.”

IC Calaguas, Lazatin’s chief political affairs officer, said the Commission on Audit (COA) stated that the projects funded by the P340.97-million loan are all intact and functional.

Among the projects funded by the Lazatin’s loans were the San Nicolas Public Market (P186 million), the construction of the Angeles City Slaughterhouse (P20 million), the computerization of Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (P10 million), construction of school buildings (P45 million), construction of socialized housing (five million), construction of the Angeles City Abattoir (P5.6 million), Internal Revenue Allotment monetization (P25.46 million), purchase of equipment and garbage bins (P43.55 million), and equipment pool (P0.36 million).

Calaguas said: “If Congressman Lazatin did incur bad credit during his term, the succeeding mayor, in this case former Mayor Francis Nepomuceno, wouldn’t have been able to acquire another P800-million loan originally intended for the construction of the sports complex.”

Calaguas also said there is no problem with local government units (LGUs) acquiring loans as long as the projects intended for the loan are accomplished.

“All the debts incurred during Congressman Lazatin’s time as mayor were approved by the City Council and the Bureau of Local Government Finance,” Calaguas said.

“We advise Mayor Pamintuan to address the issues hounding his administration first, particularly the city’s bankruptcy and his favoring his political party by allowing PAK to use the equipment of the City Government, before inventing accusations against Congressman Lazatin,” Calaguas added.

Calaguas explained the balance of the said loan, amounting to P228,447,999.57, was taken out through another loan acquired by the City Government in 2009 from the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB).

Calaguas said that Lazatin’s term expired on June 30, 2007, but the City Government was able to obtain another loan from the PVB, amounting to P600,000,000 for the construction of the Sports Complex in October 2009.

The said P600,000,000 loan was originally intended for Sports Complex, but was diverted by Pamintuan for the construction of the still unused City College of Angeles City and the expansion of Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center or Ospital Ning Angeles.

On August 13, 2009, the City Government entered into a Term Loan Facility Agreement with PVB, which is payable within a period of 12 years and divided into two tranches.

Tranche I of the loan was used to cover the city’s outstanding loans to the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, while Tranche II was used to finance the then proposed Angeles City Sports Complex.

On October 9, 2009, the City Government received Tranche I of the loan amounting to P228,447,999.57 and the money was used to refinance the loans of Lazatin.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 19, 2013.

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