Iloilo mayor faces raps over unexplained wealth
ILOILO CITY—The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas has approved the filing of charges against this city’s mayor for unexplained wealth, noting his net worth had nearly tripled in just one year when he was vice mayor.
In a 16-page report, the Ombudsman-Visayas recommended the filing of criminal charges against Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, an ally of the administration, after a lifestyle check indicated possible violations of Republic Act No. 1379 or the Unexplained Wealth Act.
The report alleged Mabilog had accumulated assets manifestly out of proportion to his lawful income as vice mayor.
Reached for comment, Mabilog referred the Inquirer to his lawyer, Joenar Pueblo, who denied the charges.
“We have all the documents which we will submit to the Ombudsman to show that the increase in (Mabilog’s) net worth is justifiable,” Pueblo said.
The Ombudsman-Visayas said Mabilog’s net worth as indicated in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) increased from P7.37 million in 2004 to P9.711 million in 2005. It rose to P16.51 million in 2006 and spiked to P44.45 million in 2007.
Pueblo said the sharp increase in Mabilog’s assets from 2006 to 2007 was due to the purchase of a house and lot in Canada by his wife, Ma. Victoria, who worked there.
“The property was purchased through a bank loan,” Pueblo said.
In his SALN from 2004 to 2007, Mabilog declared that he was marketing director of Airtropolis Phils., a customs brokerage firm, while his wife was comptroller at Terracon Geotechnique, a geodetic engineering firm in Calgary, Canada.
In his 2006 and 2007 SALN, Mabilog declared he was also chair of Pan Pacific Food Services.
The Ombudsman’s report was submitted on March 10, 2014, by investigator Theodore Banderado and approved by Paul Elmer Clemente, Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, on
Nov. 12, 2015.
Former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada, who filed the complaint against Mabilog on Nov. 16, 2011, received a copy of the report on March 11.
Mejorada said in a statement that a forfeiture case for the confiscation of unexplained wealth had also been filed against Mabilog.
Mabilog served as city councilor from 2004 to 2007 and vice mayor from 2007 to 2010.
He was elected mayor in 2010 and is serving his second term. He is seeking a third term in May.
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