Group wants Cebu City gov’t scholarship investigatedCebu Daily News
The anti-corruption group Dilaab finds disturbing reports that a school owned by a city councilor of Cebu City is cornering a big chunk of the city’s college scholarship fund.
Dilaab Movement convenor Fr. Carmelo Diola said if this is true, “the issue is one of delicadeza if not downright misuse of funds meant for poor students.”
The City College Scholarship Fund has become the center of controversy recently after Mayor Michael Rama issued a partial veto of the ordinance for the education fund. He cited “conflict of interest” of one of the members of the Scholarship Fund Committee, Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa who owns the Asian College of Technology.
Diola said Dilaab is “demanding a thorough investigation on the matter.”
The City Council however issued an override on Rama’s veto last Wednesday with a vote of 13 and two abstentions.
Abellanosa denied any conflict of interest in his membership in the scholarship committee, claiming that his membership is not personal but as chairperson of the City Council Social Services Committee.
He likewise said he would ask the committees vice-chairperson Councilor Leah Japson to represent him in the Scholarship Committee.
Abellanosa meanwhile denied reports attributed to Rama saying his school has 20,000 scholars.
Abellanosa said this was far from happening because his school only has a population of 9, 000 students.
“(The mayor is) citing statistics without verifying. (This is) another case of signing without reading,” said Abellanosa who referred to the controversial ordinance protecting the South Road Properties (SRP).
Mayor Rama vetoed the measure shortly after a copy of the ordinance with the mayor’s signature on it was sent to the city council secretariat.
Earlier, Council Jose Marie Daluz III said more than half or about 4,000 of City Hall’s 7,000 college scholars are enrolled in ACT.
Even then, Diola said the investigation should disclose everything in the city’s scholarship program.
Quoting the late Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo, Diola said: “Leaders should not only be honest, but should be perceived to be honest as well.”
Abellanosa for his part said Rama’s actions on the scholarship ordinance was politically motivated.
According to its website, Dilaab (Cebuano for “fire, fervor, or conflagration”) is a volunteer-driven, faith-impelled, Church-based movement for a transformed Filipino nation through heroic Christian citizenship and leadership./with reports from Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac