Tuburan mayor’s allies defend use of funds
ALLIES of Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante in the municipal council described as “baseless and politically motivated” the graft complaint filed by Tuburan Councilor Marie Tabotabo before the Ombudsman-Visayas.
Councilor Sesinando Potencioso Jr said the medical mission held last Feb. 4 to 8 that was mentioned in Tabotabo’s complaint was supported with a council resolution.
“In fact, the council approved the budget allocated for the mission worth P324,000 for the 5,000 beneficiaries of the 54 barangays regardless of their political affiliation,” Potencioso told reporters over the weekend.
Potencioso told reporters that the mayor spend some of his own money for the medical mission including the delivery of equipment used by the medical team that cost P40,000.
In her complaint, Councilor Tabotabo said there was no bidding for the contract to provide food for doctors of a medical mission held from Feb. 4 to 8. She said the meals were served at P300 per head.
The meals for the medical mission were provided by Silver Plate Restaurant, said to be owned by the mayor’s brother, Ruben.
She said the food caterer also managed to secure a Build-Operate-Transfer contract with the municipal government without passing through the town council.
Tabotabo also sought an inventory of all municipal vehicles amid reports that the vehicles brought to the AJB auto shop owned by the mayor’s sister Teresa Balbedo were left there for months.
Municipal Administrator Roy Talaugon said all the transactions entered into by the mayor’s office adhered to the provisions of the government’s Procurement Act and was approved by the council.
Tabotabo is running for reelection under the One Cebu party of the Garcias while Diamante is running for reelection under the Liberal Party.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Director Sabiano Cabatuan were given copies of the complaint.
Mayor Diamante claimed there was “zero corruption” in Tuburan and it was awarded a seal of good housekeeping by the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG). Correspondent Renan Alangilan