Pamintuan charged with 7 counts of graft

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ANGELES CITY – Three-termer and world class city mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and a certain businesswoman Elvira Granil were charged with seven counts of graft and corruption before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the rental of the 1,126 square meters property of the City Government.

The case was filed by veteran local broadcaster Medardo David last September 19.

David in his complaint alleged that Pamintuan is liable for violation of section 22 © and Section 60 (c) and (e) of the Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code.

David said that Pamintuan, “in bad faith and manifest partiality, entered into a contract of lease with Granil, in behalf of the local government without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panglungsod.”

Pamintuan’s act in making it appear that he is authorized by the Sangguniang Panglungsod to enter into a contract, for and behalf of the government, is an act of dishonesty and abuse of authority which are grounds and subject for disciplinary actions, said David.

Pamintuan on January 5, 2015, without any authority from the 15th Sangguniang Panglungsod, allowed Granil to proceed with the construction of the building on the leased premises which is in violation of the rules because such authority to commence with the construction in the leased premises should come from the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Angeles City, thus an abuse of authority which is a ground, subject for disciplinary actions, according to David.

David also alleged that Pamintuan in conspiracy with Granil is liable for violation of section 3 of Republic Act no. 3019, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corruption practices Act.

David said Pamintuan induced Engineer David David, the city’s zoning officer, to allow and approve the construction of the 12 storey building on the leased premises.

Pamintuan caused the local government undue injury when it signed grossly disadvantageous contract of lease, for and in behalf of the city government, without required resolution from the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

Moreover, David said, Pamintuan gave unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference to Granil, who has no financial capability to operate and manage a 12 storey hotel.

Pamintuan also allowed Granil to defer payment of lease for 24 months without the authority of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, the complaint indicated.

Pamintuan in bad faith and manifest partiality, entered, on behalf of the Government, into a contract of lease grossly disadvantageous to the City Government and without the authority of the Sangguiniang Panglungsod, the complaint noted.

Pamintuan knowingly approved and granted the privilege and benefit in favor of Granil, to lease the property and construct a 12-storey hotel despite knowledge that Granil, whose credential is limited to operating a bar and not a hotel, and has no showing of financial capacity to operate and manage the same, the complaint furthered.

Last July, Opposition Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. filed a resolution requesting an urgent investigation on the operations of Palladium Hotel, a business managed by Granil.

Lazatin said Palladium Hotel is using a government land property located at Real St. in Barangay Balibago and covered by TCT No. 15956. The property has an area of 1,126 square meters.

In a series of documented hearings conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Estate and Assessment in April and May this year, Palladium Hotel requested approval for improving its building from eight to 12 floors.

According to Lazatin, there are no documents showing that Palladium Hotel has a contract to lease the government property.

In fact, he said, there is another company leasing the property for 25 years. It is the Crystal Palace Bar.

On January 22, 2013, the Angeles City government duly represented by Pamintuan entered into a lease contract with Crystal Palace Bar, allowing the business entity to use the land property owned by the local government located at Real St., Barangay Balibago in exchange of a lease amount of P140,000 per month for a period of 25 years.

Lazatin pointed out that under Art. VI of the said lease contract between the Angeles LGU and Crystal Palace Bar, the LESSEE (Crystal Palace Bar) “shall not directly or indirectly assign or transfer its right of lease over the leased premises or any portion thereof under any circumstances and such contract made in violation of this clause shall be null and void, UNLESS, the assignment or transfer is with the consent of the LESSOR (Angeles City LGU).

“There is no evidence or document proving that PALLADIUM HOTEL has a sub-lease contract with Crystal Palace Bar and should there be any, there is no document or certification from the Angeles City Government saying that that it has prior consent on any transfer of lease from Crystal Palace Bar to Palladium Hotel as stipulated in the LEASE CONTRACT Under Art. VI,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin further explained that there is a clear violation of the lease contract because PALLADIUM Hotel is not legally authorized to use the said property and therefore, it should be ordered to vacate the premises.

“PALLADIUM is operating and using the premises without contract with the Angeles City Government,” he said.

The resolution was rejected by the City Council’s majority bloc headed by Councilor Alexander Indiongco. (Press Release)