Saturday, November 8, 2014
Camacho, Dads Court Plunder Case - So
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BAYAMBANG – Incase this town’s officials consummate the swapping deal between the 3.1 hectares P520 million Bayambang Central School and the P152 million relocation site, they will be courting a non-bailable Plunder Case.
According to Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) President Rosendo So he just found at the records of the Senate and House of Representatives that the two-hectare relocation site in Barangay Bical here occupied by the teachers and more than 2000 pupils of the Central School was bought for P150, 000 only by William Chua. Chua had declared that the property and improvement he introduced on the site reached P152 million.
“Itong nakalagay dito sa First Party and Second Party na iyong property niya doon ay P152 million, ang layo doon sa P150,000 and nakikita natin dito sa document na dahil two hectares lang siya, iyong additional na 1.1 hectares babayaran lang ng P30 million,” he stressed in a press conference here.
So said that the 3.1 hectares BCS is worth P16,700 per square meter (PSM) as based on the purchased price of the owner of a commercial edifice to a lot just in front of the school.
“This is P520 million,” he emphatically referred to the fair market value of the the real property in BCS.
He warned local officials, that includes Mayor Ricardo Camacho and most members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Town Council), that they would be courting a plunder case incase they successfully conspired to conclude a contract with businessman Chua in an onerous Memorandum of Exchange.
Plunder Law states that a public official can be charged with plunder if the accused has accumulated wealth amounting to at least P50 million through any of the following methods: “By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets belonging to the national government or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities or government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidiaries”.
Aside from the Plunder Law, officials here would be liable too to the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices Act. It provides in one of its subsections: “Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby”.
According to this town Councilor Chato Junio, initially the Council passed an emergency resolution for the transfer of the mentors and pupils in BCS after the school was gutted by fire and threatened by flood and dengue. It was later followed by another resolution empowering the mayor for the temporary transfer of the teachers and pupils who were recalcitrant to go to the almost two kilometers new school site.
The parents of these students reasoned out, according to Filipina Alcantara, president of the Parents Teachers Association, that they could not afford the daily P20 tricycle fares.
“Three months palang akong konsehal hindi na po ako sumasang-ayon doon sa pag-transfer at ano pang mga negotiations. Sapagkat nalalaman natin ay mali. Ang tama ay tama hangang kailan,” Junio assailed all his colleagues in the August Body in a press conference she attended with So.
Councilor Junio cited that even Congresswoman Rosemarie Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan) warned Camacho and the councilors to forego their plan because of the repercussion that await them.
“Nagpunta po kami lahat sa Congress at hinarap po kami ni Congresswoman Arenas. Paliwanag niya na huwag paki-alaman especially ni Mayor na huwag ilipat kasi baka ika-pahamak ninyong lahat”.
So said Superintendent Ruby Torio of the Department of Education’s Pangasinan-1 told him that the DepEd opposes the transfer but was obliged under the fear of contempt of court. Mayor Camacho sued the teachers with a mandamus case at the Branch 56 Regional Trial Court in San Carlos City to oblige them to transfer in a school site the teachers said was not recognized by the Dep Ed.
The case is still pending at the sala of Judge Hermogenes Fernandez after he issued an indefinite mandatory injunction to the occupants of the BCS until he resolves the case.
So said that until now his source at the municipal hall and the acting principal of the new school told him that they have not received the demand letter of Chua to Camacho for the latter to sign the Deed of Exchange within 15 days otherwise he (Chua) would order the mentors and the pupils to return to the school.
“Wala pa daw natangap as of kahapon (November 5). May e-mail lang silang natangap pero walang opisyal na dumating na letter”.
As precautionary measure to the ultimatum, So and former Congressman Mark Cojuangco donated P400 thousand and P1 million, respectively, for the immediate repair of the BCS where doors, ceilings, iron grills, black boards, chairs, and other parts of the building were vandalized and pillaged with impunity by thieves.
The stashing of properties ensued because the former principal Danilo Lopez and the local government unit here did not put any security guard.
So, chairman also of the Abono Party-list, said he got a pledge of 2000 arm chairs and 50 teachers' tables from different individuals and organizations in the country for the bellied out school.
He said that incase Chua, owner of the chains of 168 malls in Pangasinan, is found as an illegal alien, the contract the latter and the officialdom here have been cooking would be null and void if they both signed it.
The BCS’s American era Gabaldon Building had been gutted by fire in a mysterious way last June 2012.
Camacho and the Council said the place would be converted to a central terminal and a mall owned by Chua.
But Alcantara told media men that another interest of government officials is the Japanese treasures buried underneath the 3.1 hectares land.