February 17, 2022 @ 8:02 AM 5 months ago

QUEZON City Councilor Allan Francisco in a privilege speech exposed an alleged scam involving the ‘Palupa at Pabahay Program’ said to be a project of 5th District Rep. Alfred Vargas since 2016 and has since enticed around 500 families who had to shell out their hard- earned money to have a new house and lot they could rightfully call their own.

“The project was initiated by the office of Vargas in 2016 but six years after, no house and lot were provided to the recipients even as they had already paid from P10,000 to P40,000 as partial or full payment to become recipients,” Francisco said.

Armed with documents from aggrieved families, Socialized Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) and Sangguniang Panlungsod secretariat, he said there is no available records that would prove that program is valid and legally registered.

“Apparently, they were swindled. Defrauded! Ilang milyong piso po kaya ang nakolekta from more or less 500 families?”

According to him, he’s copies of the acknowledgement receipts showing payments of the persons who availed of the program bearing the logo of the House of Representatives, Office of Representative Alfred Vargas.

In all those acknowledgement receipts, there appears the signature of a certain Teny C. Asmiralde, signing as officer-in-charge and community organizer of Vargas, said Francisco who claimed that the affected families were willing to appear and testify in any court of law or inquiries.

According to SHFC: “Based on our records, there is no loan application received by the branch with respect to any of the above mentioned projects. Having no such record, we cannot also give you any information as to the CMP-Ms (Community Program-Mobilizers) of these projects.”

As to the certification issued by council secretariat, it said: “Based on available records on file, it would appear that there is no approved measure by the city council relative to Build Homeowners Association, Vargas Village 9, Vargas Village 18 and Vargas Village 20 Homeowners’ Association.”

“I smell something fishy. Totoo po ba talaga itong sinasabing ‘Palupa at Pabahay’ ng iginagalang nating congressman? Ni walang plano, permit, accredited mobilizer. Ito ay maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na peke, scam o drawing at gimik pampulitika lamang,” he said.

As narrated by the complainants, Francisco said they had attended the briefing regarding the program and “no less than the congressman (Vargas) and program-in-charge Teny Asmiralde were present.”

“Mr. Presiding Officer, from what I disclosed today (Monday), and considering the plight of these families who appeared to have been swindled and defrauded, it is my strong position that the disposition of the matter should not end here. Those involved should be held responsible and accountable for what they maliciously and wittingly did to these poor families.”

Councilor Patrick Vargas appeared online in defense of his brother congressman and said that the issue was politically motivated.