JVR deems Samsam innocent of scam
Garry B. Lao (The Freeman) - May 18, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Representative Gerald Anthony "Samsam" Gullas could not have been involved in the grand pork barrel scam rocking the two chambers of the Philippine congress today, if Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes were asked.

Even if a political fence sets the two officials apart, De los Reyes yesterday defended Samsam Gullas after the latter's name found its way to the list of congressmen who were allegedly in cahoots with Janet Lim-Napoles.

"In my own understanding, it is unbelievable. Si Samsam Gullas, mao pa man iyang paglingkod isip congressman, so unsa-on man niya nga maapil siya sa PDAF scam (Samsam has just assumed office as a congressman, so how can he be implicated in the scam)?" De los Reyes said in an interview with The FREEMAN.

In the last May 2013 elections, De los Reyes slugged it out with Samsam's grandfather, former congressman Eduardo Gullas, in the race to the city's mayoralty post. The former congressman lost to De los Reyes by a slim margin of 736 votes.

Samsam succeeded his grandfather as congressman in Cebu's first district.

However, while De los Reyes said Samsam is still young to be involved in any wrongdoings in congress, he believed the reputation of the 29-year-old Gullas will now be tainted with controversy, adding it is now up to the congressman how he is going to handle it.

"Dili malikayan nga makadaot gyud niya ilabi na nga apil siya sa listahan kay daghan ra ba ang maminaw og istorya lang pero depende ra gyud niya unsa-on pagdala ang maong isyu batok kaniya (His name being in the list, it may potentially work to his disadvantage but it's up to him how he is going to handle it)," De los Reyes said.

In a separate interview, Samsam thanked De los Reyes for believing him even if they belong to difference political camps.

"I'd like to thank the mayor for believing me and I hope that the rest of the first district of Cebu will believe me too because I have nothing to hide," Gullas said.

The neophyte congressman reiterated that since he began his first term, his district had never availed of the Priority Development Assistance Fund after the Supreme Court stopped and eventually scrapped it.

Gullas added he was not even a congressman during the time Napoles allegedly started plundering the PDAF of senators and congressmen.

City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong, in a separate interview, said he shared the same sentiment with De los Reyes and assured the congressman of his continued support.

"Dili na katoohan. We still believe him and his credibility remains," Chiong said. The City of Naga is part of the first district of Cebu.

Earlier, Samsam already urged the Department of Justice to verify the authenticity of the published Napoles list which included his name. (FREEMAN)

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