Chronic corruption by LGU official
WHILE people in Metro Manila and in other major urban areas in the country are agog with the disclosures on so-called hidden bank accounts of the Chief Magistrate, and with revelations in social media of alleged hidden wealth of some of the top officials in the land, many constituents of local politicians are wondering why instances of large-scale corruption in their localities are given little attention to or are totally ignored.
In October 2011 constituents of a mayor in a municipality in the South have requested my help to bring to the attention of President Aquino the corrupt ways of a partymate who is said to be total anathema to the latter’s anti-corruption campaign.
What is the gravity of the offense? I have filled almost half of my notebook pad with notes on the large-scale corruption— ghost projects, IRA amounting to more than P7 million a month kept almost to the mayor’s self, non-existent projects awarded to his group of companies with dummies bearing Chinese-sounding names to make them appear like real businessmen.
The mayor almost “owns” every conceivable business there could be in the area—trucking services for his ghost projects, gasoline stations, hardware, general merchandise that supplies the LGU’s office requirements from computers to bond paper, pharmacies, convenience stores, a hotel with functions rooms where LGU meetings are held, water refilling stations, recreation area (cockpit), ice plant, security services, resorts, piggeries and fish ponds.
He has passbooks for various bank accounts, and at least nine vehicles, including two Mitsubishi Pajeros, a Toyota Fortuner, a Mitsubishi Montero, and three utility pick-up vehicles.
The campaign to fight graft and corruption cannot rest on one shoulder alone.
Collaboration with media and other agencies of government could, hopefully, nail or at least strike fear in the hearts of the corrupt.