Ex-Zamboanga City legislator expresses shock over Saro-faking
MANILA, Philippines—Former Zamboanga City Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian (2nd district) said he was shocked to know that a former member of his staff, Emmanuel Raza, was allegedly involved in a scam of faking special allotment release orders (Saros).
“I really didn’t know that he was doing that. He was with me and I was not aware or informed of what he was doing after office hours,” Fabian told the Inquirer on the phone.
Fabian said Raza, who was a member of his staff in his three terms as lawmaker, was a “holdover staff” of another lawmaker from Cagayan Valley.
He, however, refused to identify the Cagayan Valley lawmaker.
Fabian said his former chief of staff, Ruth Allen Ruste, had informed him about Raza.
Zamboanga City Rep. Lilia Nuño said Raza was just a “holdover” staff of Fabian.
“Being in one political party (with Fabian), I just accepted his staff and I didn’t tap new staff. I have no idea of Raza’s other operation. I was really surprised and embarrassed,” she told the Inquirer on the phone.
Nuño said she learned about Raza when asked by a Manila-based television reporter.
“I didn’t have any knowledge about this Raza until I was told that he is one of my staff. I immediately called the office and verified this with Ruste and she confirmed [it]. I was really embarrassed to know that one of my staff is into faking Saro,” Nuño said.
Both Fabian and Nuño, however, could not recall personally meeting Raza.
“I can’t recall how he looks like. I just can’t describe his face because I did not deal directly with him,” Fabian said.
Nuño said she learned about Raza when the issue surfaced. “I have not met him in person. I was just told he is one of my staff,” she said.
Nuño said Raza was “now with the NBI.
“We don’t want to intervene and we want the real issue to come out because we don’t want to be under agua caliente (hot water) with his questionable activities,” she added.
Ruste, in a text message to the Inquirer, said Raza had taken a leave from work.
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