By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BAYAMBANG – The donor of the 8,150 pieces of barbecue grills in this town’s bid for the longest grills on the Guinness Book of World Record last year said Mayor Ricardo Camacho had been making excuses for billing Php1,896 million public funds for the 3000 pieces of grills and 2000 kilos of tilapia that were already been paid.
Businessman Cesar T. Quimbao, a resident and No.1 taxpayer of the town, said what Camacho signed as projects under the Gender & Development Report (GDR) for which the town spent Php1,896 million were ghost projects.
“Saan niya ilalagay iyong tatlong kilometrong grills? Ginamit niya iyong 400 years (town) anniversary para doon sa disbursement para makakuha lang siya ng pera. It was a ghost project,” an angry Quimbao told Northern Watch.
This town Councillor Levin Uy, the one who discovered the alleged anomaly of the mayor, posed to the public the intention of Camacho to forge the GDR.
“Ang issue doon, bakit siya gagawa ng isang official document or report e hindi pala totoo. Ano ang intention? What is the intention behind the preparation of a forged report? Iyon ang question namin, iyan ang sagutin niya,” he said.
When informed that Camacho claimed he (Camacho) and his staff committed an honest error in and signing the appropriation on the grills and fish on the Report, Quimbao, the owner of corporate giant Stradcom, said the mayor was making a cover up.
“Alam mo ni report mo iyan 2014 na bumili ka ng 3000 grills, paano mo babawiin iyan. Ibig sabihin noon ni report niya, bumili pero hindi totoo ghost project iyan kasi ako lahat nagbigay ng grills,” he said.
Last April 20, Quimbao filed four charges against Camacho at the Ombudsman in Rosales, Pangasinan.
They were anchored on Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or otherwise known as “Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act”, Section 7 (A) of Republic Act No. 6713 or otherwise known as “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”, “Fraud Against the Public Treasury and Similar Offense under Article 213 of the Revised Penal Code, and Falsification by Public Officer under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.
|Councillor Levin Uy, Executive Director of Quimbao’s Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation|
On April 5, 2013, Quimbao, who pays roughly P30 to P35 million taxes a year, said he thought of the idea to land in the Guinness World Record for the Longest Grilling Station during the town’s 400th year celebration.