I HAVE long been writing article after article since the 60s. I even recall I had a piece published then by the Philippine Free Press. I write as I write. Never mind if those who will be affected are my friends. I may have, in these many years of writing, committed certain lapses, but I swear in all honesty that I never meant to embarrass anyone.
In the below letter by former mayor Ed Pamintuan, he is disputing the figures. That’s his right. The figures in my column, where it was stated that unpaid obligations run to tens of millions of pesos, were given by a source. And whatever happens, I cannot divulge my source.
With due respect to the former mayor, when a writer is quoting an official source, that’s not “kuryente”. (I was a councilor only from 2013 to 2016. Because I only placed number 11, thanks but no thanks to the two other Sangils who ran in 2016 and may have confused some voters). There were several articles I wrote in all these years where I praised some of your accomplishments and you never responded by way of writing the newspapers and say thank you. As for you hiring me as a consultant, it was not a full three years. FYI. I served as consultant for some months only till December of 2018.
I am writing in response to your Sun.Star column, wherein you wrote that “according to my source” only P15 million remained in the city coffers when my 3rd term (5th actually) ended at noon of June 30, 2019, and that the unpaid electricity bills was around P80 million.
With due respect to you, my good friend, I believe you were given the wrong information by that “source”, whoever he or she is. In media parlance, “nakuryente ka.”
Based on official data, the total cash inflow from January to June 2019 was P1.4 billion. Granting that 65 percent of this amount was spent for various mandatory and compulsory expenses, the remaining amount in the General Fund of the City Government of Angeles would still be P490 million. This figure is near to the report I gathered which said that more or less P590 million was left in the city coffers at the end of June 2019.
The supposedly P80 million expenses on electricity which the city government owed the AEC is entirely incorrect too. When I took over as city mayor in 2010, the debt on electricity was almost P100 million, and throughout my last 3 terms that whole amount was almost settled. Perhaps you were referring to all the power service that will be used up to December 2019.
Angeles City is not as rich as Quezon City, Makati City or Pasig City, but we made it a point to guarantee the delivery of basic social services and payments of obligations during my tenure in office while exercising prudence in spending public funds. And you of all people should know that having served as city councilor and my consultant during the last term (and you even wrote praises in your column).
As a true and objective media practitioner, I hope that you will correct your data.
Ex-Mayor and private citizen