Plunder case filed vs Hagedorn as Puerto Princesa recall election nears
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – Supporters of incumbent Mayor Lucio Bayron of this city has filed a graft case against former mayor Edward S. Hagedorn just as the Commission on Elections was preparing to hold a recall election for the mayoralty post next month.
The city information office, in its social networking site on Facebook on Sunday, announced that a P65-million plunder case against Hagedorn and several other former officials of the city government was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman last April 7, with three supporters of Bayron as complainants.
The case stemmed from alleged cash disbursements made by the city to Hagedorn totaling P65.7 million and occurring between 2008 to 2010 when the latter was mayor, which the complainants claimed were anomalous.
Cited in the plunder complaint filed by Rodrigo Saucelo, Wilfredo Rama and Antonio Lagrada were Hagedorn, former city administrator Agustin Rocamora and several unidentified persons.
The complainants claimed that in 18 separate reimbursement transactions, there were no “receipts, vouchers and supporting documents” that justified Hagedorn receiving the payments.
Hagedorn, in a phone interview Sunday, dismissed the announcement as “nothing but a scrap of political harassment.”
“It is a cacophony of lies and irritant English grammar based on false data, sheer ignorance of disbursement procedures and ignorant interpretation of the 2011 COA (Commission on Audit) report,” Hagedorn said.
Bayron and Hagedorn, who are relatives and former political allies, are expected to be the main protagonists for the city’s top post in the recall polls scheduled by the Comelec on May 8.
The recall petition was mounted by known supporters of Hagedorn who gathered over 20,000 petition signatures to pave the way for early elections here.
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