Sitoy apologizes to Abunda; Gwen to present Balili pact


PROVINCIAL Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy apologized to TV celebrity Boy Abunda for saying Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district used “squid tactics that only the likes of Boy Abunda can resort to.”

“I made a mistake in terms of sentence structure. What I meant is that Boy Abunda could have done a better job in treating such a serious matter even if he’s not a lawyer or congressman unlike Pablo John who resorts to squid tactics,” Sitoy said.

The PB member referred to the recent backfilling of the Capitol-owned Balili property in barangay Tina-an, Naga City.

Sitoy said Pablo John’s response to the issue was comparable to a talk show hosted by Abunda.

In an interview at the Cebu International Convention Center, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she will present a copy of the contract for the backfilling during a Powerpoint presentation on the Balili property development on Dec. 11.

She said she will invite Sitoy and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale first for the presentation.

The two officials visited the Balili property last week after earing reports that the site had been backfilled with limestone and soil.

Sitoy said Abunda’s group contacted him on his statement and he promised to give an explanation about it.

Sitoy took exception to Rep. Garcia’s remarks that he failed to pass the bar exam.

He said that comment was irrelevant to the Balili property issue.

“PJ was dwelling on a collateral issue which was squid tactics. He must first face the facts as they are. That would help him better analyze things,” Sitoy said.

“Let us not play with words in legal gobbledygook. There’s something wrong in the way a portion of the Balili property was filled up. In other words, he should stop being girly in his treatment of serious matters like the Balili. Let’s stick to issues,” Sitoy said.

The Capitol bought the Balili property for P98.9 million in 2008.

A survey by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that the land was mostly underwater and classified as public domain.

Rep. Garcia said the backfilling of the Balili property was “restoration” of titled land and not a reclamation.

He also said Sitoy and Magpale were “proxies” used by his gubernatorial rival Hilario Davide III to discredit him.

Garcia, who will run for governor in next year’s elections, challenged Davide to a debate “and stop hiding behind his proxies, Magpale, PB Member Arleigh Sitoy and his father, Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy.”

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