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Freeman Metro Cebu

Mandaue dad: I didn’t accept expo payment

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Mandaue City Councilor Beethoven Andaya on Wednesday denied personally accepting and keeping a businesswoman’s P150,000 cash supposedly intended for the City Treasurer’s Office.

Andaya slammed claims that he took custody of the money from Norma Vicoy, the entrepreneur who ran the Cebu Local Expo Center’s Christmas Bazaar at the Mandaue City Plaza Square starting December 5 last year.

Vicoy has been billed P214,528 by the Treasurer’s Office for the venture, but has reportedly insisted that she pays only P150,000 as what she allegedly had agreed with Andaya.

Andaya’s version of the story is different, though.

He recalled Vicoy approaching him late last year to ask for a discount on the fees as he is the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Enterprises.

"Being the chairman, I asked her to submit her proposal and layout. I asked if it be okay for her to include stalls for cooperatives, as well as kiddie rides since it was Christmas. She agreed but was not sure about the kiddie rides as they are quite expensive,” Andaya narrated in Cebuano.

Incidentally, Andaya also heads the Council Committee on Cooperatives.

The councilor said Vicoy eventually asked for a bargain price — P150,000 for everything. He then told her he was willing to help her negotiate with the Treasurer’s Office.

After that, Vicoy sent her staff to Andaya’s office to meet the councilor’s own staff so they could go to the Treasurer's Office to pay the permits.

However, they learned that there was no bill yet for Vicoy that time. Even then, Andaya said Vicoy’s bazaar had been granted a Mayor’s Permit already.

Upon knowing she was billed P214,528, Vicoy reportedly asked Andaya to help her appeal to lower the actual bill to P150,000.

But Andaya said when he saw the billing, he noticed that the bazaar had 44 stalls, none of which was for the coops, and that there was no single kiddie ride.

Andaya further said he learned that Vicoy did not give a discounted rate for cooperatives; hence, they backed out due to expensive fees.

At this point, Andaya declined extending help to Vicoy, believing that the latter had earned from the expo.

Vicoy, however, reportedly insisted not paying the extra P64,000 and that Andaya should instead pay for it.

Andaya had since denied keeping the extra or even the original P150,000 before turning it over to the Treasurer's Office. He said expo organizers already know the drill, including where to pay the fees and others.

He also said it is now up to the Treasurer's Office to get the remaining balance from Vicoy.

City Treasurer Regal Oliva, in a letter dated December 29, gave Vicoy five days to pay the P214,528, otherwise, "we will recommend stoppage of your operation or refer this matter to the City Legal Officer for appropriate legal action".

In her reply dated January 2, Vicoy said they had already paid "in full" to Andaya even before they opened the bazaar.

"Please refer your collection to Sangguniang Panlungsod c/o Hon. Toben Andaya," her letter read. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

ANDAYA

BUT ANDAYA

CEBU LOCAL EXPO CENTER

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

CITY COUNCIL

CITY LEGAL OFFICER

CITY TREASURER

CITY TREASURER REGAL OLIVA

COUNCIL COMMITTEE

VICOY

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