MANILA, Philippines?Parañaque Rep. Eduardo C. Zialcita Monday admitted getting money from Legacy Group founder Celso de los Angeles, but he said it was a donation for his public service programs in his district.
In a statement, Zialcita denied any involvement ?in any capacity, official or unofficial, with the companies of the Legacy Group,? saying that he has ?never been a consultant to them.?
One of the biggest banks in the Legacy Group, Rural Bank of Parañaque, operated in Zialcita?s district.
In her testimony in the Senate, Namnama Pasetes-Santos, chief finance officer of Legacy Consolidated Plans, said De los Angeles would give instructions to disburse money to Zialcita as consultancy fee.
?In some instances, Mr. De los Angeles directly instructs me to prepare vouchers and checks for and in the name of the good congressman,? Santos said, reading an affidavit.
?This is evidenced by the numerous checks and vouchers in my possession which is P100,000 per check totaling P1.8 million,? Santos said.
House Speaker Prospero Nograles said there was no need to hold an ethics probe of Zialcita.
In a text message, Nograles said: ?I have advised Congressman Zialcita to make himself personally available in case the House committee wants to hear his side.?
Asked if Zialcita must face the ethics committee, Nograles said: ?Why ethics? Who is the complainant, who is complaining against him??
Zialcita denied the allegations against him. ?I have never been the recipient, personally, of checks or funds, from the companies that make up the Legacy.?
?The alleged use of my name on the records of the Legacy Group is appalling, and constitutes an insult of the highest order. It may be that my name was being used by this Group for its own purposes, as a foil against other high-profile personalities,? he said.
Zialcita, however, acknowledged that De los Angeles and the Legacy Group had supported his public service programs in Parañaque, including free coffins, free burial services, feeding programs, free construction materials (for fire victims and evicted squatters), and free medical (services) and tuition.
?I was never asked by Mr. Angeles and his group for any favors in return. Nor did I offer, or give any,? Zialcita said. Gil Cabacungan Jr. and Christine Avendaño