“Everything’s politically motivated. Even my doing for the people is politically motivated. That’s my politics. My politics is to build,” he said.
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Osmeña: Politics behind charges
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - January 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday said politics is the motive behind the administrative and criminal complaints filed against him and his allies in the City Council.

“Everything’s politically motivated. Even my doing for the people is politically motivated. That’s my politics. My politics is to build,” he said.

The mayor and Councilors David Tumulak, Margarita Osmeña, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Jerry Guardo, Joy Augustus Young, Mary Ann Delos Santos, and Franklyn Ong are facing graft complaints for approving the P18-billion project on Kawit Island at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Other respondents are Frederick Go and the board of directors of the Gokongwei-owned Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. (UHRI).

The Isla de la Victoria project, an integrated resorts and casino, will sit on the nine-hectare property, which has been “idle” for years.

The complaints were filed by anti-graft crusader Crisologo Saavedra Jr. before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

Saavedra said the city officials and private entities have violated Section 3 (e) and (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and committed conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and conduct unbecoming public officials.

Saavedra cited the same allegations against Osmeña and his allies in the two other cases that were earlier filed by the opposition-allied Cebu City councilors and opposition-allied barangay official.

Saavedra and the opposition-allied officials believed that UHRI does not have the technical and financial capabilities in pushing through with the P18-billion project under the City Ordinance No. 2154.

Saavedra had already said politics has nothing to do with his complaint, saying he is doing this as an advocate of anti-corruption.

Osmeña, though, welcomed the filing of the complaint, so he said the public will be informed about the veracity of the project.

He denied that the signed Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between UHRI and the city is disadvantageous, as claimed by Saavedra.

The mayor said the project will create 5,000 jobs and is seen to increase the valuation of the SRP lots.

“It will create 5,000 jobs. They cannot see that. The payroll of 5,000 mga tao is more or less P1.2 billion a year. So mosyagit sila alkanse ang syudad. Dili financially qualified ang Gokongwei? Bogo ang mga tao?” the mayor said.

While Saavedra asked the anti-graft office to preventively suspend the mayor and other officials, Osmeña said the complainant should just wait for the May 13 midterm elections.

If Cebuanos dislike his administration, Osmeña said no one will vote for him and put him into office. (FREEMAN)

TOMAS OSMEñA
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