Squatters’ housing issue: Maliksi decries ‘black propaganda’Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Cavite Representative Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi on Tuesday decried as “black propaganda” the allegation made by his political opponents that housing units for relocated squatters built during his term as provincial governor cost P2.8 million each.
In a statement to the Inquirer, Maliksi said there was no truth to the assertion made by incumbent Governor Jonvic Remulla that it was “the most expensive low-cost housing development in history.”
In a story that came out in the Inquirer on October 29, Remulla said real-estate developers who inspected the houses placed the actual cost of each unit at only P240,000, and that in a relocation site in Calauan, Laguna, the cost of a 30-square-meter house was P175,000.
“That is an outright lie. The cost of each house was not P2.8 million. Governor Remulla maliciously put all the cost [of the project] into the building of each house,” Maliksi said.
“He misleadingly insinuated that the P500-million fund was used solely to build 186 houses,” he added.
Maliksi said the P500 million for the relocation project was “legally spent, fully documented and liquidated” with the appropriate government agency.
He gave the breakdown as P125.5 million for the cost of the land; P93,893,398.60 for Phase 1 of the project (earth works, site grating, perimeter fence); P236,876,342.42 for Phase 2 (road site grading, installation of main water system and drainage system, and construction of 186 houses); and P26.5 million for related expenses.
According to Remulla, the “P26,492,677 was disallowed by COA audit team No. 1 because the payments made by the Cavite provincial government had no legal basis.”
Remulla said the deed of sale the provincial government signed with the sellers of the land provided that the purchase price of P125,488,200 was net of taxes, fees, expenses, brokers’ compensation, tenants’ disturbance compensation and damages.
But Maliksi said the COA finding was corrected by the very same team that later realized the erroneous interpretation of the terms and conditions of the deed of sale executed by the Cavite provincial government and the sellers of the land, specifically on the definition of “net of taxes.”
“The audit team found that the aforesaid issue was what the parties intended and was not contrary to law, morals and good customs. Hence, the same audit team asked the COA regional director’s office to reverse the disallowance they reported as they had found the transaction to be aboveboard, lawful and fair,” Maliksi said.
“His (Remulla’s) rants against me have no basis and could easily be rebutted by concrete evidence and legal documents,” he said.
He said Remulla was grandstanding and making malicious allegations to besmirch his reputation because the elections were coming up in May 2013. Maliksi is the Liberal Party candidate for governor of Cavite.
“If this is not purely politically motivated, then what is it?” Maliksi said.—Cynthia D. Balana