CITY Mayor Evelio Leonardia hit Thursday the MoNoPal (Monico Puentevella, Renecito Novero, Ann Marie Palermo) team on the fourth plunder case relative to the P20-million loan of the City Government.
Leonardia said the case filed against him and 16 other city officials, members of the Arao family and executives of the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), is clearly all about politics, "there's no basis and it's just a lie and propaganda."
Sarah Esguerra filed the case against Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, Councilors Greg Gasataya, Homer Bais, Dindo Ramos, Al Victor Espino, Roberto Rojas, Napoleon Cordova, Alex Paglumotan, Diosdado Valenzuela and Kevin Daniel Ramos, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, former secretary to the mayor lawyer Vicente Petierre III, City Administrator Rogelio Balo, City Treasurer Eduardo Ravena, City Accountant Luzviminda Treyes, City Budget Officer Severo Leago and Annabele Yong, SVP's of the PVB, and Nelie Arao-Antigua and Romanita Arao-Andal, representing the Arao family.
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In the press release of MoNoPal team led by Puentevella, the complainant Esguerra said the criminal and administrative charges stemmed from the overpricing of the properties' acquisition by P115,501,683.06, when the prevailing market value of the land was pegged at only P15 per square meter thus, "would have cost the City Government only P8,812,915 based on the certified true copy of the tax declaration for each titled parcel from the City Assessor's Office."
Leonardia refuted the claim saying that it's a baseless plunder case unlike the plunder case filed against Puentevella that was filed by Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping. "The person who filed the plunder case against him (Puentevella) is not the employee of Leonardia or other politicians, but it's the PSC chairman."
He said the plunder case of Puentevella is a real one unlike the plunder case filed against him, which was filed by an identified Puentevella's supporter.
The MoNoPal team claimed that earlier, Esguerra, former police officer Victor Eduardo and broadcaster Franklin Villanueva lodged separate plunder cases before the Office of the Ombudsman against Leonardia and some of the city officials in relation to the P72 million purchase of gasoline, oil lubricants, P245 million payment for professional services, and the P290 million payment/reimbursement for travel expense docketed as CPL-V-08-0895, CPL-V-09-1235 and CPL-10-0028, respectively.
But Puentevella continued denying as of Thursday that he has a plunder case filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Leonardia also countered that it's a shameful act denying that he has a plunder case, as Leonardia reiterated that the plunder case against Puentevella has a docket number CPLC-09-2047 pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.
He said that it's a national scandal which was published in national papers, and aired in national TV, "but still he continues to deny his plunder case, so if this guy can lie inside the church how much more with some little things."