28 Manila councilors say no Pagcor funds since Nov 2011

ALL the  28 councilors allied with Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno have stopped receiving their P90,000 monthly financial assistance from Philippine Amusement Gaming and Corporation (Pagcor) after it was coursed through the Office of the Mayor.

Majority Floor Leader Honey Lacuna-Pangan said the councilors got their PAGCOR funds for November just last month.

“That release was made by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim  only after Vice Mayor Isko (Moreno) met with Pagcor Chairman Cristino Naguiat  last month,” said Lacuna.

She noted that all the councilors closely identified with Lim got their P90,000 Pagcor funds in full for November.

She said the mayor, vice mayor and the 38 councilors of Manila are provided by Pagcor with monthly funds for their constituents. The Pagcor funds for the councilors were initially coursed through  the councilors’ respective foundations.

“But there were some changes and the funding was forwarded to the city’s coffers, and can be released only with the approval of  Mayor Lim,” she said.
For reasons only known to the mayor, Lacuna said Lim withheld the Pagcor funds intended for the 28 councilor-supporters of Moreno since October 2011.

She reiterated their Pagcor fund for November was given to them after the vice mayor met with Naguiat.

Meanwhile, the city council spokersperson Councilor Ernesto “Jong” Isip, Jr. strongly denied earlier reports that 9 out of the 28 councilors identified with Moreno sought the help of Lim in getting their Pagcor funds in full.

The report, quoting Lim’s chief of staff and media bureau chief Ric De Guzman, also stated that the said councilors asked Lim’s intercession because they get only P72,000 out of the P90,000 Pagcor funds. He said the P18,000 monthly cut/ per councilor  goes to the one in charge doing liquidation.

Isip branded the report as “unfounded and baseless.” He believes this could be part of another ‘black propaganda’ being mounted by the mayor after 28 of the 38 councilors joined the vice mayor in taking their oath as members of the United Nationalist Alliance  (UNA) of former President Joseph Estrada.

Estrada had announced his intention to run for mayor of Manila. He already transferred his official residence from Greenhills in San Juan to Sta. Mesa, Manila.

In coming out with the ‘false’ report, Isip said the mayor merely wants to show the public his “good nature” as what De Guzman claimed  in the report that “Lim bears no ill will.”

But he considered the report  as another  desperate move on the part of the mayor to create a public perception that allies of the Vice Mayor are  giving “signs”  they could likely jump to Lim’s “political fence, and might even support him.

He challenged those behind the bogus report to come out with documents to back up their allegations.

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