MAYOR Belen Fernandez again slammed Vice Mayor Brian Lim and Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia for continuously claiming that her administration is corrupt when it was the two who did nothing to stop the sale of MC Adore, the misuse of fund for the construction of a three-storey building that was supposed to be exchanged for the lot occupied by the Juan P. Guadiz Elementary School, planned by then Mayor Benjamin Lim to be the site of a hospital and lying in center.
She made the presentations before public dialogues held in Barangay Lucao and at the City Museum on June 1 in response to claims of corruption by Lim and Erfe-Mejia over the donation of a 1.2 hectare lot as site of the new city hall.
Fernandez said both Lim and Erfe-Mejia did nothing to stop those transactions that were grossly unfair and disadvantageous to the city even as they made it appear that it’s her administration, not her predecessor’s administration, that implemented corruption-ridden projects.
She challenged them to explain their role in the campaign to support the sale of MC Adore by the then Mayor Bejamin Lim, father of the vice mayor, for only P119 million when they knew the property, could have easily fetched P400-M to P450-M based on prevailing market rates in 2011.
The resolution authorizing then Mayor Lim to negotiate the sale of Mc Adore and a property of the city in Calasiao was approved during a special session when then Vice Mayor Fernandez was on a trip to the United States without the benefit of public hearing as required in the rules of the city council.
“Why did the two, who professed to be clean and against graft and corruption as appearing in the video ‘Korapsyon101’ did not dissuade the elder Lim from committing acts that were inimical to the city’s interests,” Fernandez asked when interviewed later by newsmen.
She said the two could have at least called for a public consultation to determine the temper of the people on the sale of MC Adore as they are demanding today over the transfer of the city hall, but they didn’t and simply went along without any thought about the people’s sentiments.
On Erfe-Mejia’s demand that Mayor Fernandez should instead continue the hospital and lying clinic planned by the past city administration, she chided the councilor not being up to date about the project.
She said her administration even improved on the project with the least costs to the city because the ongoing construction of a diagnostic and lying in clinic at the former Perez Market site has funding and equipment support from the Department of Health, and will not be fully funded by the city government as proposed by Lim’s father.
In sum, she said, the city lost millions to tainted projects under the Lim administration but Lim and Erfe-Mejia instead choose to lie and claim that it’s her administration that is corruption-ridden.
She said the MC Adore sale was only one of the many projects where the city government lost and named among them the overpriced streetlights, overpriced construction of the Malimgas Public Market and the Dawel cruise terminal, the lost Awai landfill.
“These resulted in unprecedented deficits in the city’s annual budget,” she said.
The deficits, she pointed out, led to non-payment of terminal pay as well as overtime pay of employees, wages of emergency workers, electric and water expenses, and failure to implement barangay socio-economic programs.
In contrast, she said, her administration’s zero tolerance for corruption enabled the city to produce millions in surplus and savings each year while implementing more infra projects and social programs for barangays, and paying city hall employees more. (Leonardo Micua)