Lawmaker denies lavish lifestyle raps vs DPWH exec hubby
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon 4th District Rep. Helen Tan has denied allegations that her husband, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official, has been living a lavish life as claimed in the complaints filed by a Quezon Province councilor.
Tan explained on Thursday that the complaints filed against her husband DPWH Region I regional director Ronnel Tan were mere harassment initiated by their political foes, especially since the 2022 election is less than two years away.
According to her, this may be due to the perception that she was gearing for a gubernatorial run in the next polls.
“The trumped-up charges being hurled against Engr. Tan merely shows how desperate our political enemies have become during the past weeks and months, particularly because I have been perceived to be gearing for a gubernatorial run next elections,” Rep. Tan said in a statement.
Earlier, Quezon councilor Arkie Manuel Yulde filed both administrative and criminal complaints against DPWH regional director Tan amid accusations that he tossed money estimated to be P2 to 3 million at a party hosted by the couple, for the people to fight over.
“The filing of ostentatious display of wealth charges along with allegations of partisan political activities against my husband, Engineer Ronnel M. Tan […] smacks of pure political harassment. It is not only without basis but one which we have been forewarned about, especially because it is beginning to look a lot like 2022 elections,” Tan said.
“I decry this move by certain political sectors who are out to besmirch the good name and reputation of our family who have done nothing but to be deeply involved in the lives of our people through the delivery of meaningful public service amid the ongoing national crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.
In Yulde’s complaint, he also mentioned that Engr. Tan supposedly asked various barangay officials to refrain from attending invites from incumbent Governor Danilo Suarez, or else they would not receive any allocation for their jurisdictions.
But for Tan, this was just a desperate move to besmirch their reputation and to establish a political dynasty over Quezon province.
“I cannot help but think that these charges are not isolated but part of the orchestrated efforts of a political dynasty in the province to weaken my resolve to bring the brand of our public service throughout the entire Province of Quezon,” she said.
“I hope that my unceremonious removal as Chairperson of the Committee on Health of the House of Representatives just a few weeks ago for no particular reason at all is still fresh in the minds of the public,” she noted.
Early October, Tan was removed from her post at the House of Representatives committee on health, amid rising tensions between the speakership post which was eventually secured by Marinduque Representative and now Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.
Yulde — whom Tan noted was their former supporter — claimed that the party was hosted by the couple in their residence at Quezon’s 4th district. Quezon town Mayors Webster Lerargo of Gumaca and Ferdinand Mesa of Alabat were allegedly present during the incident.
“Due to his excitement, the respondent (Tan) shouted to the guests ‘pag agawan niyo na itong pera, then he “threw the cash into the air” such that the guests will be fighting over picking up as much money as they can get,” Yulde said in his complaint.
“The mayors said some got one hundred thousand pesos, others got two hundred thousand pesos,” he added.[ac]
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