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Corona lawyer questions belated COA disallowance in City of Manila lot purchase


06:44 PM March 24th, 2012

By: TJ Burgonio, March 24th, 2012 06:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines—The defense panel viewed with suspicion on Saturday the belated notice issued by the Manila city auditor disallowing the 2001 purchase by the city of the property of  Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. and belittled its impact on their case.

“The notice of disallowance is suspect. Why was it issued 11 years after the transaction? My understanding of the law and rules on the matter is that COA has only three years to issue a notice of this nature,’’ defense counsel Ramon Esguerra said in a text message.

Besides, he added, the concerned parties have six months to appeal the notice, and could question this up to’ the Supreme Court.

“The lot is now where the Sampaloc market is. The sale is more than consummated. Is this not another wave of persecution?’’ he said.

Defense lawyer and spokesperson Tranquil Salvador III, for his part, said that before anything else, the city government should rescind its contract with BGEI.

Esguerra said this doesn’t have any bearing on the trial and defense case “unless the purpose is to further muddle the issues.’’

Salvador said this would even “reinforce our position that Basa Guidote has funds received from the city government.’’

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