Explain P91-M loan, Ombudsman orders Los Baños mayor, officials | Inquirer News
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Explain P91-M loan, Ombudsman orders Los Baños mayor, officials

/ 09:05 PM October 28, 2012

SAN PEDRO, Laguna—The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered Los Baños Mayor Anthony Genuino and nine other town officials to answer a complaint filed against them over alleged irregularities in the P91-million loan the local government entered into with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The loan was to be used for the construction of a new town hall.

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The Ombudsman, in an order dated Oct. 8, required the answer from respondents Mayor Genuino, son of former Philippine Amusement and Gamings Corp. chief Efraim Genuino, who himself is facing a string of graft charges; Vice Mayor Josephine Sumangil-Evangelista; and Councilors Cesar Cabrera, Lourdes Principe, Benedicto Alborida, Julius Moliñawe, Domingo Galang, Gaudencio Macatangay, Dona Alborida and Epitacio Beltran Jr.

The complaint was filed on Aug. 13 by Municipal Councilor Jay Rolusta and Francisco Lapis, coordinator of the government watchdog People Power Volunteers for Reform in Los Baños.

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Lapis, a former town mayor, said they received the copy of the Ombudsman order on Oct. 19 via registered mail.

Rolusta and Lapis, in their complaint, accused the respondents of falsification of public documents and violating the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Act when the respondent-councilors on March 26 passed an ordinance that was never ratified during a council session.

The ordinance, which authorized the mayor to borrow P91 million for the new town hall, was a Land Bank requirement before it releases the amount.

Municipal information officer Oji Sanchez, in a text message on Sunday, said Mayor Genuino and the other respondents would “abide by the [Ombudsman’s] order to prepare a reply,” but refused to comment further on the case.

The complainants asked the Ombudsman to hold the respondents criminally and administratively liable.

“Genuino …  was the moving factor [in the loan agreement],” Lapis on Sunday said.

In July, Los Baños resident Eduardo Suplac had also filed a complaint against the same town officials over the same government loan transaction. Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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