(Metro News) Lucio Tan files graft raps vs. Mayor Lim, 20 city dads

March 1, 2010 11:58 pm 

MANILA, March 1 – Taipan Lucio Tan on Monday filed graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, 20 city councilors and several city officials in connection with the alleged rigged sale of the land where Century Park Hotel stands.

In a 24-page complaint-affidavit filed by Atty. Reynaldo Bagatsing, Lim and the Manila officials were charged for violation of Section 3e and g of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing undue injury to the government and to private bidders of the said property.

Also charged were Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman and Secretary to the Mayor Rafaelito Garayblas, along with BAC members Lourdes Manlulu, Thelma Perez, Alicia Moscaya, Roberto Amores, Racquel Acosta and Ronald Siojo.

Also included in the charge sheets were councilors Moises Lim, Erick Ian Nieva, Arlene Koa, Ernesto Dionisio, Jr., Carlo Lopez, Rolando Valeriano, Ernesto Isip Jr., Yul Servo, Maira Sheila Lacuna-Pangan, Luisito Chua, Edward Maceda, Victoriano Melendez, Roderick Valbuena, Raymundo Yupangco, Josefina Siscar, Ernesto Rivera, Danilo Victor Lacuna and Russel Ibay.

They were also charged for violation of the Local Government Code for giving undue preference to a private party and entering into a contract without the benefit of public bidding.

It was alleged that the property was auctioned off on Sept, 16, 2008 but the respondents announced that it was a failed bidding.

The bidding covered the 45,680 square meters of lands occupied by Century Park Hotel but owned by the City of Manila.

Another bidding was again conducted on Sept. 30, 2008 after publication and two bidders participated namely, Maranaw Hotels and Restaurant Corp., which submitted a bid of P1 billion and AM Oreta and Co. Inc., offered P997.30 million.

Bagatsing claimed that Lim, Moreno and the other officials committed criminal acts when they disposed off the two parcels of land through a rigged bidding after passing City Council Resolution No. 176 Series of 2008, which "authorized the City Mayor Alfredo Lim to enter into a negotiated sale of the property of the City of Manila."

"The use of the word ‘negotiated’ in the aforementioned City Council Resolution is an indication of unlawful and nefarious intent of the respondents to defraud the City of Manila. The word ‘negotiated sale’ provides a blanket authority to respondent Mayor Alfredo Lim to negotiate the sale of the aforementioned properties with intent to do away with applicable laws on public bidding," Bagatsing said in the complaint.

This was followed by a Notice of Public Auction..The three days notice given in the newspapers of the sale was not fair and equal chance to participate in the public auction.

"Supplementary contract entered into by and between the City of Manila and Tourist Trade and Travel Corporation on 1 August 2003 clearly shows that the market value of the improvements (Century Park Hotel) is already valued at P1-Billion," the complaint sheet said.

"Notably, the aforementioned amount of P1-Billion pertains only to the declared value of the improvements. It does not include the value of the lands where the improvements are constructed," it said.

In the final appraisal report, the entire property would command an aggregate value of P1,705,339,637. Therefore, there is a deficit of at least P705,339,537, it said.

"In this regard, respondent officials of the City of Manila should not be allowed to profit from their own crime and inflict tremendous prejudice to public interest," the complaint said. (PNA)



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