Landfill purchase probers must be impartial - Lopez

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Friday, March 21, 2014

DYNASTY Agri-Aqua Corp. spokesman Roy Lopez said on Thursday his family welcomes the move of Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella of creating an investigative team that will look into the alleged questionable purchase of the seven-hectare sanitary landfill property from their family by the previous administration.

He said, however, the mayor should ensure that the probe team will be impartial and will not serve his wishes.

Lopez said that if the mayor will chose his own investigating team and witnesses, the result will be favorable to him.


“This would be a sort of fishing expedition and an exercise in futility. He should create an investigating body which is for the people and by the people and not from the mayor,” he said.

Lopez added, “What our city needs is a probe team selected by the people, for the people and definitely not a probe team selected by the mayor and for the mayor.”

He also said the witness the mayor can use is the contract both their company and the city government agreed on before signing the deed of conditional sale.

Puentevella said Wednesday the Lopez family can stand as witness in the investigation.

"If one of the Lopezes will become a state witness and tell the public how much they really received from the previous administration in terms of the purchase of the property, maybe we can re-evaluate the issues and conflict that developed along the way," he said.

The mayor said a bigger issue is that one of the lawyers of the Lopezes, referring to former Councilor Dindo Ramos, is allegedly involved in the questionable purchase.

"We have discovered more data and we will file cases with the Ombudsman next week. We just discovered these, after the standoff at Barangay Felisa," the mayor said.

Lopez is a son of Ester Lopez, owner of the sanitary landfill property purchased by the city government.

On Monday, he blocked the road going to the sanitary landfill because their family opposes the utilization of the facility due to the city’s non-payment of its balance of P3.8 million out of the P23.8 million lot price.

Puentevella refuses to pay the amount since the Commission on Audit declared the purchase overpriced by P5 million.

Lawyer Cesar Beloria Jr., head of the City Enforcement Team of the City Legal Office, Tuesday said the city is preparing to file charges against Lopez for coercion, obstruction, violation of traffic rules and disobedience.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 21, 2014.

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