Lapu-Lapu City political pot sizzles

Lapu-Lapu City political pot sizzles

By Junex Doronio
March 10, 2022

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Barely 60 days before the national and local polls, the proverbial political pot now sizzles with the filing of charges and counter-charges of the camps of the incumbent mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and the come-backing mayoralty bet Paz Corro-Radaza whose family lorded over this highly urbanized city for 18 long years.

The president of Lapu-Lapu City’s Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) and 13 other barangay officials are now in hot water after a certain Celestino Pangatungan and his relative Ruben Pangatungan filed separate cases on Tuesday, March 8, before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for allegedly conducting illegal procurement of Covid-19 related supplies.

In a press conference on Wednesday, March 9, the complainants alleged that the officials of the two barangays violated Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, after they found irregularities in the two barangays’ procurement of Covid-19 related products.

Celestino filed a case against ABC president and Bankal barangay captain Eduardo Cuizon and his village councilors Regino Cuizon, Cleofas Quijano, Manuel Cuizon, Mario Inot, and Treasurer Crisanta Inot.

He claimed that Cuizon and his fellow co-accused procured P285,000 worth of Vitamin C from a supplier that is not engaged in supplying medicines or vitamins.

Maribago Barangay Captain Rosalino Abing was also charged of buying Covid-19 supplies without a competitive bidding.

Ruben Pangatungan claimed that the barangay procured glass cubicles from One In A Shop Enterprise and personal protective equipment amounting to P293,080 without public bidding.

Included in the complaint were barangay councilmen Alimoden Pangatungan, BAC chairman, Reynaldo Ompad, Anecita Paquibot, Jennes Maglasang, Eddie Daño, Arvin Fiel Abing, BAC members, and Melody Paquibot, barangay treasurer.

Sources said the accused were all identified as “loyalists” of the reputed Radaza political dynasty that ruled this city for 18 years and even Chan himself was once a protege.

On March 8, Tuesday, Chan and six city officials also filed a perjury case before the City Prosecutor’s Office against seven barangay captains who had earlier implicated the local chief executive in a graft case.

Chan and others maintained that the barangay captains “twisted the facts” and “gave misleading and false narration, under oath, against the mayor and the other accused.”

Earlier, the barangay captains charged Chan, eight other government employees and officials, and four private individuals of graft before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for allegedly awarding some P47 million worth of contract involving Covid-19 supplies to a furniture company.

“It is obvious that funds were released to a company which is not legally entitled to receive the money as such company is not in any way selling or producing what they purportedly delivered to the government,” part of the complaint read.

Cuizon claimed that they based their complaint on a Commission on Audit (COA) report. (ai/mtvn)

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