Friday, July 28, 2017

Mayor Belen rebukes Brian, Red

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor here exposed the hypocrisy of the vice mayor and a councilor who did not question the anomalous bargain sale of the former Five-Star McAdore International Palace Hotel in 2012 that should be converted to city hall.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez said that when former Mayor Benjie S. Lim conspired to fire-sell the P400 million worth seven-storey with a theater Palace Hotel for P119 million, her staunch critics Vice Mayor Brian Lim and Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia did not question the graft ridden transaction.
PROTAGONISTS. From left is Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and
opposition members' Vice Mayor Brian Lim and Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia.

The duo instead conspired by empowering Mayor Lim in signing the onerous contract of sale to AMB ALC Holding and Management Corporation.
Time pa ni Mayor Al 1988. 1990 time ni Vice Mayor Teddy Manaois may resolution na bilhin ang Mc Adore for city hall. 2005 binili ni (Mayor) Lim ang city hall McAdore kaya Lang binenta ni Benjie Lim. Brian Lim author nila Red Erfe Mejia. Kaya nawala ang city hall natin binenta ng mura,” Mayor Fernandez dished out the two opposition members in the FaceBook Account of Teddy Villamil – another bitter critic of the mayor.
In the same Account the mayor lambasted her predecessor and allies on their unabashed streak to sell this city’s local government properties
Look around other municipalities and cities is there any mayor who sold their city hall ? Their park like the Magsaysay Park. A road sold to Victory Liner? False income statement negative with thirty seven million pesos as misdeclaration and a positive one million two hundred thousand pesos?  Who fools the Dagupenos ? Is it me or both the Lims? Why against my Family?”
The mayor also rebuked, in a consultation hearing, Mejia who opposed the donation of the 1.2 hectares land as situs for the city hall.
Noong ako ay nagpunta sa U.S ay binenta nila Mayor Benjie Lim nandiyan si Red at bakit siya pumayag na mabenta ng palugi? Dapat tumayo si Councilor Red kailangan natin ng consultation bago natin ibenta. Bakit hinde niya ginawa?” 
At the last consultation of the Cluster 6 of the villages here, the mayor narrated that the P50 million procurement of the local government here in 2002 of the McAdore from the Asset Privatization Trust, a government owned privatization program, became possible because of the intercession of then former Vice Mayor Al Fernandez and Alfred Balingit to then former Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Both of whom were friends of Arroyo.

At that time ang McAdore ay mahigit ng P200 million ngunit dahil sa gusto natin na magkaroon ng city government kaya ibinigay sa atin, tinulungan tayo na magkaroon tayo ng city hall,” Fernandez stressed.
When Lim became mayor in 2002 he wanted to sell the Palace for P68 million with the local government here still required to pay the 6 percent Capital Gain Tax and the 1.5 percent Documentary Tax at the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the sale.
“Compute ko iyan sabi ko mayor hinde pa (ba) tayo nalugi diyan? Dahil iyong lupa na binigay sa atin ng mura kailangan ibalik natin at gawin nating city hall,” Fernandez, who was the vice mayor then told Lim.
She added to Lim that if he was persistent to sell it he should trade the 11,000 square meters hotel at P400 million in the prevailing market value of the real properties located at the heart of this city.
But Lim and those councilors that included Mejia and Lim’s son Brian, the present Vice Mayor who vehemently opposes the relocation of the new city hall, succeeded in selling to the AMB ALC Holding  which won the bidding for P119 million or approximately P18,500 per sqm in January 28, 2013.
Critics slam that the sale as anomalous and disadvantageous to the local government because then Mayor Lim sold in 2005 his nearby 715-sqm property to Land Bank for P35, 000 per sqm.
Aside from Lim and Mejia, the other council members that critics called part of the Judas 9 were then Councilors Guillermo Vallejos, Chester Gonzales, Chito Samson, Jess Canto, Karlos Reyna, Dada Manaois-Reyna and Alvin Coquia.

When Fernandez became mayor in 2013 Sanguniang Panlungsod Secretary Ryan Raganzo filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Injunction against buyer AMB ALC Holding and Management Corporation to stop the sale of McAdore.
Regional Trial Court Judge Emma Torio of this city issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) with an argument “in the higher interest of substantial justice.”
 Judge Torio finally declared the resolution of the nine councilors as null and void.

The putative buyer corporation headed by former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua was estopped by the court to operate the five -star hotel as the case is presently litigated at the Court of Appeals.

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