By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BAYAMBANG – For misrepresenting this town as the owner of the Bayambang Central School in a swap deal with a land and the edifices owned by a Chinese trader, the mayor and other town officials here will find themselves in jail someday.
Abono Party-list Chairman Rosendo So told Aksyon Radyo last Thursday about the criminal and administrative cases filed by BCS’s Parents Teachers Association President Filipina Alcantara against Mayor Ricardo Camacho and other officials of this town at the Ombudsman who entered into a grossly disadvantageous contract that prejudice the government.
Last November 17, Alcantara charged criminally Camacho of “willfully and feloniously” entering into a land-swap deal with businessman Willy Chua—a transaction that prompted 2000 pupils to relocate to the latter’s property.
She argued in her complaint affidavit that the mayor binds the government in a manifestly and grossly prejudicial transaction.
She also sued administratively Camacho of gross negligence when he “transferred the school with undue haste and without notice or consultation with theDepEd”.
So said one of the grounds against Camacho et al was they negotiated a real property swap owned by the national government and not of the local government unit (LGU) here he represented.
“Iyong issue na iyan malaking issue iyan. I-iswap mo iyong lupa na hindi sa inyo. Talagang makukulong ka niyan pag iyan ang ginawa mo,” he stressed.
He cited that when he went recently to report these malfeasances in Congress he was provided with records that showed the LGU here is not the title owner of the BCS.
He said the deal is lopsided against the government where the 2.5 hectares of Chua’s property has a zonal valuation (ZV) of P435 per square meter (PSM) or P8.9 million only versus the 3.1 hectares BCU with a ZV of P4,600 PSM or P142 million according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
The Abono Party –list chair said the other liability of Camacho and others in the Ombudsman case was when they entered a swap contract with Chua by excluding the Department of Education’s representative in the province in the negotiation.
“Kasi ang nangyari, nagbigay ang SB (Sangunniang Bayan) ng authority to negotiate with DepEd and Wilson Chua. Ang nangyari iniwan iyong Dep Ed kasi hindi pumayag ang Dep Ed. Negotiate niya si Wilson Chua, kasabwat si Wilson Chua kasi bawal iyon. Malaki ang problema ni mayor doon parang ni act niya na siya ang DepEd”.
He said Camacho instead sued the Dep Ed officials with mandamus at the Regional Trial Court Branch 56 in San Carlos City when they became recalcitrant to his plan for the students and teachers to take temporary shelter at the Bical Buildings of Chua after the American era Gabaldo Type building was gutted by fire in a mysterious way in June 2012.
After the expiration of the 20 days temporary restraining order issued by RTC Judge Hermogenes Fernandez, he issued indefinite mandatory injunction that prompted the Dep Officials led by Superintendent Ruby Torio to appeal the case at the Court of Appeals.
Camacho argued the general welfare’s clause at the court that the pupils there would be endangered by dengue and flood.
But former Pangasinan Congressman Mark Cojuangco disagreed with Camacho. He said that as far as his knowledge is concerned this is the only public school in the country that the students left in mass because of the fear of dengue and flood.So and 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.