• 2 years ago
Categories: Cagayan

Cagayan gov files charges vs vice gov, 10 board members over loss of P328 million for roads

Gov. Manuel Mamba and Vice Gov. Boy Vargas battles for the control of the Provincial Library. Photos courtesy Cagayan PIO and SP

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba lodged administrative complaints against Vice Governor Melvin “Boy” Vargas Jr and 10 board members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan before the Office of President Rodrigo Duterte

In his complaint affidavit, Mamba blamed Vargas and the 10 opposition board members over the forfeiture of the P328 million funds supposedly for provincial roads projects for 2018.

The 10 board members include: 1st District board members Cris Barcena, Olive Pascual, and AJ Ponce; 2nd District board members Archie Layus, Jeff Vargas, and Vilmer Viloria; 3rd District board members Karen Kaye Turingan, and Perla Tumaliuan; and ex-officio board members Maila Ting-Que and Hilario Ting.

Mamba said he filed complaints against the members of the provincial board “in their capacities as Chairman and Members of the Provincial Board of Cagayan.”

While in the affidavit, the accused members of the board were “collectively” called as Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Mamba did not include two of his allies in the board: Board Members Pastor Ross Resuello and Rodrigo De Asis.

The governor sought for Duterte’s action for the board members’ alleged “grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and oppression.”

Vargas and the board members are yet to issue statements regarding Mamba’s accusations.

But Vargas told reporters in an interview on Wednesday, February 21, that Mamba was to blame on the forfeiture of the fund.

The two branches of local government in the province had been since engaging in political rift, with both tagging each other as “politicking” due to delayed passage of the budget. (TIMELINE: The delayed approval of the 2017 budget)

‘Arbitrary delay’

Mamba, in his complaint affidavit, said the “arbitrary delay” in the passage of the 2017 Appropriations Ordinance led to the forfeiture of the P328 million the province could have get from the national government, through the Conditional Matching Grant Program (CMGP).

(READ: Cagayan loses P328 million for road projects)

“The arbitrary delay in the passage of the 2017 Appropriations Ordinance to the damage and prejudice of the Provincial Government and the best interest and welfare of the Cagayano people, denying them the benefit of almost 29 kilometers of concrete-paved provincial roads,” Mamba said.

Mamba accused the provincial board of “intentionally” delaying their budget, including the P30-million allocation for maintenance of provincial roads.

This claim, however, was contrary to the provincial capitol’s earlier claims that the late approval of the supplemental budget, which included appropriations for 2016 KALSADA’s (now CMGP) provincial counterpart, caused the forfeiture of the fund.

“The Sangguniang Panlalawigan was also undaunted by the DILG’s September 15, 2017 deadline…. Such act is nothing but a clear display of arrogance and absence of good faith intention to comply with the deadline given to them,” Mamba said.

Board Member Maila Ting-Que also earlier put the blame to Mamba, who she said, was the one who first caused the forfeiture of the fund when the governor requested that the KALSADA 2016 fund intended for Baggao and Lallo be transferred to Tuao and Sto. Niño.

Baggao and Lal-lo was earlier identified and approved to receive the road project, according to a source.

With the board members questioning this move, the provincial government had yet to get approval of the funding, thus, not being able to secure notices to proceed since the fund for its counterpart had to be resubmitted for the board’s approval again. Northernforum.net

Raymon Dullana: Raymon Dullana is The Northern Forum's news contributor and former editor in chief. He also works as correspondent for Rappler.com.