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Richard Gomez to NHA: 'I want the best for my constituents'
Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez had earlier ordered an investigation after he was shown a video of brown hollow blocks at the site, which reportedly crumbled when picked up.
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Richard Gomez to NHA: 'I want the best for my constituents'

Lalaine Jimenea (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez is unfazed over the threat of National Housing Authority (NHA) employees to file oral defamation charges against him over his statement that substandard housing units were built for earthquake victims in Barangay Gaas in this city.

“It’s regrettable that the NHA would refer this issue to the judicial arena instead of choosing to address... it well within the function of their office... which affects the safety of the houses that they are building for our beneficiaries... If they plan to file defamation charges, I will face... them in the proper venue and answer their charges. All I ask is that while they do this, work on the project should not be delayed or derailed or in any way affected by the case,” Gomez said in a statement.

“I only want the best for my constituents... It is my duty to protect their interest,” he said.

Gomez said he invited NHA manager Marcelino Escalada to come here to see for himself the quality of hollow blocks used and settle the issue.

On Escalada’s challenge to the city government to cancel the permit it issued for the housing project, Gomez said he only wanted the NHA to ensure no substandard material will be used.

He said the city government has a big stake in the project, noting that it purchased the lot to build bigger houses for quake victims.

A word war between Gomez and the NHA erupted after videos showing the mayor inspecting housing units and expressing his frustration when he found out that substandard materials were used were posted on social media.

Gomez had earlier ordered an investigation after he was shown a video of brown hollow blocks at the site, which reportedly crumbled when picked up.

He said he apprised Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Michael Diño about the controversy during President Duterte’s visit to Tacloban on Tuesday night.

NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY RICHARD GOMEZ
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