Double whammy

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AFTER his unfortunate dismissal from office because of his purported unexplained wealth, former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog suffers another setback in his political life, this time he was dismissed from office because of the joint venture agreement with 3L Towing Services.

Aside from dismissal from office, the Ombudsman also forfeited the embattled former mayor’s benefits and perpetually barred him from holding public office.

The 3L Towing issue stemmed from the complaint filed by Mabilog’s erstwhile ally and bosom buddy, Councilor Plaridel Nava, way back in 2015.

In September 2017, both Mabilog and Nava were indicted in the criminal aspect of the case before the Sandiganbayan. The funny thing about this indictment is that the basis for the case is also the complaint filed by Nava.

To recall, the Ombudsman charged Mabilog and Nava for violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) relative to the towing deal with 3L Towing Services in 2015.

The city contracted 3L Towing Services for the implementation of Regulation Ordinance No. 2014-191, An Ordinance Incorporating the Use of Wheel Clamp by Way of Supplement to Regulation Ordinance No. 2013-318 (Towing Ordinance of the City of Iloilo).

On Feb. 17, 2015, the Council authorized Mabilog to sign the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the city government and 3L Towing Services.

Under the MOA, 3L gets a 70 percent share from the fines while City Hall will get the remaining 30 percent.

Based on his complaint, Nava claimed that Mabilog had pecuniary interests in the joint venture because the latter is the real owner of 3L Towing.

The councilor also alleged that Mabilog “instructed me to look for someone he could trust to be the company’s dummy and at the same time to make estimates of cost and expenditures for the proposed business venture.”

The Ombudsman indictment said that Mabilog handed P500,000 to Nava as part of his capital contribution to 3L. The former mayor also “allegedly expedited the processing of the company’s business and mayor’s permits.”

In his counter-affidavit, Mabilog claimed that it was Nava who had financial interests in 3L.

“It is Nava who has pecuniary interest in 3L because it was the latter who told him about it and its intention of bidding for the towing project even defending the qualifications of 3L.”

The Ombudsman eventually resolved that both Mabilog and Nava are liable for the offense since they both colluded in the creation of 3L.

“One thing is clear from their accusations and counter-accusations—both colluded to create 3L, to get Garcia to act as its dummy owner, to have the business registered with the DTI and BIR, to secure its business and mayor’s permits, and to have it awarded the MOA with the city government without going through a competitive process,” the Ombudsman resolution said.

 

NO REST

A pundit close to the Mabilogs questioned the timing of the release of the Ombudsman decision sacking the former mayor from office over the 3L Towing deal.

“The decision came out in the form of a press release just days after news came out that Mrs. Marivic Mabilog (wife of Mayor Mabilog) might throw her hat into the political arena. Are they out to demolish the Mabilogs knowing that they remain loved by the people despite the issues lobbed at them?” our mole said.

Well, it remains to be seen until Mrs. Mabilog finally makes up her mind on the 2019 elections.

Bantayan!

 

PFL TEAM IN ILOILO

“Kaya bala sang Iloilo mag-host sang professional football team in 2018?”

This is the question running in our minds as we excitedly await the formal announcement of the Philippine Football League team that is eyeing to move its base to the “Mecca of Philippine Football.”

We already have the name of the team, but we respect their request to hold the information until the negotiations are completed.

Former Iloilo provincial board member Pablito “Pabs” Araneta and his brother, FIFA council member and Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, along with sportsman Edwin Laru-an are working hard to bring in a professional team to Iloilo, which is definitely a boon to the province’s grassroots football program.

Keep it up, sirs!

 

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