Bayambang Mayor sued anew at Ombudsman
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BAYAMBANG – Mayor Ricardo Camacho was again sued at the Office of the Ombudsman for “illegally” entering into a contract with a mall owner.
Jaime R. Iglesia charged Camacho the contract was grossly disadvantageous to the government and is in violation of Anti Graft & Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code).
Iglesia said the acts of Camacho caused undue injury, manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and gross inexcusable negligence when he entered a contract with Magic Group of Companies (MGC) to lease a portion of the public market for a mall whose owner is the family of former Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim.
“The documents show that Magic Club was given unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference by Camacho over the bonafide market vendors of Bayambang even before the completion of the new market building,” he wrote on the Complaint-Affidavit he submitted recently at the crime body.
The complainant narrated that sometime in 2011 the vendors vacated their stalls in the old public market due to the municipal government’s plan to construct a new public market to replace the old one.
In 2011, the council unanimously passed Resolution No. 194 authorizing the mayor to enter into a P100 million loan for the construction of the public markets (Block III) which is included in the approved Local Development Projects and Public Investment Program.
In that resolution the mayor and SB members agreed that the LBP would be the depository bank of this town’s yearly share of its internal revenue allotment (IRA) and for its other deposit which designation shall not be revoked while the loan obligation remain outstanding and directly the LGU’s secretary to provide a copy of this Resolution to the DBM or other administrative office.
According to another complainant Adela I. Ferrer, who sued Camacho of the same charges at the Ombudsman, the town pays P24 million a year for the P100 million loans and interest at the LBP as she quoted from the Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) of this town.
“When the construction of the new public market was nearing its completion by the end of 2012, I was surprised by the news that the market vendors would be staying in their temporary stalls since the new public market building would be leased to a grocery chain,” Iglesia cited.
In the early of 2013 MGC began occupying the new public market.
The contract of lease between the LGU and the MGC stipulated that the latter will use the new edifice as mall for 10 years starting from March 1, 2013 and ends on February 28, 2023 with a monthly payment of P307,625 payable every or before the 5th Saturday of the month.
Meanwhile, Ferrer also charged Camacho on his purchase of a second hand vehicle for the municipality from a private person without the requisite public bidding or authorization from the SB.
Camacho had been charged before at the same crime body for authorizing the transfer the 2000 pupils of Bayambang Central School to a new site, for procuring the same van, and using funds for iron grills for this town’s bid on the Guinness Book of World Record already paid for by a resident.
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