February 5, 2006
THE ILOCOS TIMES - NEWS

Bacarra war resumes
Ex-mayor charges current mayor with dishonesty

Bacarra, Ilocos Norte—The Velascos are at it again following the letter-complaint of former town Mayor and Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member Pacifico Velasco submitted to the provincial board where he charged Bacarra Mayor Philip C. Velasco for dishonesty and grave misconduct as a public official for his alleged non-disclosure of the total proceeds derived from the recently held fiesta in this town.

In his complaint, the elder Velasco—an uncle of the incumbent town mayor—alleged that the younger Velasco has not presented any financial statement since 2002 indicating where the fiesta proceeds went, adding that the amount has remained in the mayor’s possession after taking the same from designated fiesta treasurers. The complainant identified the treasurers as Filomena Acidera, municipal budget officer, and Lorna S. Dumayag, municipal treasurer.

The Ilocos Times learned that the municipal government was able to raise more than P3.8 million during the town’s fiesta celebrations from 2002 to 2005, which is broken down as: P1,027,700.60 in 2002; P779,680 in 2003; P1,000,562.75 in 2004; and P1,034,695.25 in 2005.

The former town mayor further alleged that during the search for Miss Farmers’ Festival 2005, which had 40 candidates backed by different Zanjera associations here, the proceeds raised were never disclosed to the public and only the current mayor knows what happened to them. During the same occasion, a raffle was also held with a Suzuki cab as first prize, and which the present mayor again allegedly failed to account for the proceeds of the activity.

“Mayor Velasco has personally kept the amount mentioned in the foregoing and the people of Bacarra have been denied of their right to benefit from the fruits of their concerted efforts,” the elder Velasco said in his complaint.

The former town chief executive also assailed the younger Velasco for allegedly cheating the local residents by saying that the amount raised during the fiesta celebrations from 2002 to 2004 were utilized for the purchase of a dump truck. According to the elder Velasco, records show that the said surplus Isuzu dump truck with plate number SHL-427 was acquired in July 2005 with the funds coming from the capital outlay which was included in the municipal budget of 2005 in the amount of P570,000.

Reacting to this Mayor Velasco said his uncle had requested for the financial statements and certification but he did not release any in the belief that the documents being requested might be used to harass his administration.

The mayor added that he would explain to the people and to the persons in authority and that he would respond to the charges filed by the elder Velasco but he said he has yet to receive a copy of the letter-complaint.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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