‘My house is not quite a palace’ – Mabilog
ILOILO CITY – Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on Wednesday defended his controversial house after President Duterte ordered a lifestyle check on the mayor whom his he has repeatedly accused of being a drug protector.
“I have nothing to hide. My house, while often described as a palace, is not quite a palace. It is not as big as pictures would make it appear,” Mabilog said of his three-story house in Barangay Tap-oc in Molo District.
In a speech before newly promoted police officials on Wednesday, the President described Mabilog’s house as “like a palace.”
“He is probably the child of someone very rich,” the President said of Mabilog.
The mayor said the house was built from his income and that of his wife Marivic.
“Modesty aside, I and my wife were already running a number of businesses before I joined politics. I was already living a comfortable life in Manila as an entrepreneur when I came home to run for city councilor. I didn’t become rich because of politics, much unlike many politicians,” Mabilog said.
He said Marivic made “huge sacrifices” working in Canada for many years and at the same time made investments.
“Everybody dreams of building a beautiful home. Marivic and I built one not only for ourselves but for our children…I just feel sad that what I had hoped to be a dream home has caused a nightmare experience for me and my family. But I can assure the President not a single centavo of dirty money was spent for this home,” Mabilog said.
Mabilog’s “White House” located along the city’s famous lateral park, the Iloilo Esplanade, is already subject of criminal and administrative complaints filed by former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada before the Ombudsman and the Office of the President for alleged unexplained wealth and plunder.
The Ombudsman Visayas is conducting a fact-finding investigation on the house based on Mejorada’s complaint.
Mejorada, a long-time critic of Mabilog, had claimed that the house could reached P50 million based on its size and features.
But the Mabilog couple claims that the house built over three years costs less than P8 million.
The couple invited Iloilo journalists to their residence in September last year for a brief tour of their three-room house that sits on a 200-square meter lot that is part of the Mabilog family compound.
The Ombudsman Visayas which conducted a lifestyle check on Mabilog had reported that the mayor’s net worth as indicated in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) increased from P7,379,576,30 in 2004 to P9,711,868.28 in 2005. It further increased to P16,515,195 in 2006 and reached P44,454,432.30 in 2007.
In 2008, Mabilog reported a networth of P57,333,524.99, which increased to P67,165,329.99 in 2009 and dropped to P64,739,729.30 in 2010.
Mabilog served as city councilor from 2004 to 2007 and vice mayor from 2007 to 2010.
He was elected mayor in 2010, reelected in 2013 and serving his third and last term until 2019.
The mayor has repeatedly insisted that their house and other assets were accumulated from his earnings as a businessman and from Marivic’s income who was employed for 21 years rising to become vice president for finance and comptroller of Terracom Geotechnique, a geodetic engineering firm based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She retired in December 2014.
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