City dads seek TRO vs P1.2B loan

ANGELES CITY – WITH a vote of 8-3 in favor of the P1.2 billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the minority councilors here are now seeking a ‘temporary restraining order’ to stop the “highly irregular” loan that according to them will put the city in heavy debt.

Of the 11 Angeles City councilors, only Councilors Pogi Lazatin, Jay Sangil and Jae Vincent Flores, have voted against Appropriation Ordinance No. 325, Series of 2018, which enabled the city government to seek a P1.2 billion loan for the construction of a new P580 million city hall, a P360 million sports complex, P60 million multi-level parking, etc.

Earlier, Minority Floor Leader Jay Sangil has called for the amendment of the ordinance which he described as “untimely.” “There are compelling reasons to amend the supplemental budget ordinance we have approved in July last year.” The supplemental budget amounted to P1,292,488,714.23.

In a press briefing on Friday afternoon held at the Amber Hall of Century Resorts here, Councilors Sangil and Flores have deplored the approval of the P1.2 billion loan despite its non-publication in major newspapers.

In his letter to Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno dated February 1, 2019, Flores said: “For us members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to ratify the contracts for the construction of a sports complex and a new city hall, or any transaction prior to the publication of the ordinance as required by law, is to fall into a legal pit from which there may be no escape.”

“Nobody has yet questioned the propriety of these transactions in a court of law. But there is no assurance that any day, sooner or later, any taxpayer or city resident could bring us to court for being a party to the impropriety in the use of hundreds of millions of public funds. Even the mere thought of the eventuality will haunt us, perhaps the rest of our lives.

“I must assert what my conscience dictates me. Not to vote for the ratification of the construction of the sports complex and a new city hall.”

When asked if the majority of the Angeles City councilors have received grease money because the Appropriation Ordinance 325 was allegedly railroaded during special sessions, Flores and Sangil remained silent but zeroed in on the irregularity of the Appropriation Ordinance 325.

For his party, Sangil has reiterated the deplorable condition of the Ospital ning Angeles (ONA) where there is lack of medicines and available rooms for poor patients. Most patients seek medical help at the Jose B. Lingad Hospital in the City of San Fernando, according to Sangil.

He proposed ONA expansion instead of levelling the old Angeles City Hall and constructing a new one. The city government should only tie up with the Clark Development Corporation and Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the use of the Clark Sports Complex and there is no need for a P360 million sports complex.

Earlier, Councilor Edu Pamintuan said the proposed Angeles City Sports Complex will attract more tourists, create new jobs and economic opportunities.

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