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Metro

JV, Lim say politics behind graft raps

Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday described the charges recently filed against them as politically motivated.

Ejercito questioned the timing of the graft and malversation charges against him filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“I don’t think (that the graft charges) are related to national politics. It’s local politics, They’re billionaires. They have a law office, they have PR firms. They can destroy me if they want to,” said Ejercito, apparently referring to the family of San Juan Rep. Ronnie Zamora.

The ombudsman found probable cause to charge Ejercito, now Vice Mayor Francis Zamora and other members of the city council over an allegedly anomalous purchase of P2.1 million worth of high-powered firearms in February 2008, when he was still mayor of San Juan, using the city’s calamity fund.

Ejercito said the charge against Zamora was just a “smokescreen.”

He added that the case is “just meant to distract” his mother, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, who is seeking her third and last term against the younger Zamora.

Meanwhile, Lim dismissed as “plain hogwash, politically motivated and baseless” the graft charge against him with the ombudsman in connection with the city government’s parking meter project.

His lawyer, Renato dela Cruz, said in a statement sent to The STAR that Lim implemented the contract for six months and only in Binondo but Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno expanded the coverage of the project to cover other parts of Metro Manila.

“If the contract was anomalous and disadvantageous to the city, how come Estrada not only continued to implement the (contract) for more than two years and even expanded the scope of its operation to areas which are densely populated with parked vehicles and  where parking collections increased tenfold compared to the miniscule collections at the infancy of its operation during Lim’s tenure?” Dela Cruz said.             

ACIRC

DELA CRUZ

EJERCITO

JOSEPH VICTOR

MANILA MAYOR ALFREDO LIM

METRO MANILA

NBSP

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

RONNIE ZAMORA

SAN JUAN

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