Two more city dads return P20T calamity assistance

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

MORE officials of the Cebu City Government returned their P20,000 calamity assistance amid controversy surrounding the release of the cash aid.

Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias turned over P20,000 to the City Treasurer's Office (CTO) yesterday, following Councilor Alvin Dizon’s move last Thursday.

Cabarrubias, who was in Manila, instructed his staff, Meriam Cabaluna, to turn over P20,000 to the CTO.


Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. said he will do the same. But he said he wants to return the money in installments.

In a July 11 letter to City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas, Gabuya asked that P5,000 be deducted from his monthly salary, starting this month until October.

Gabuya said he used the assistance to repair the roof of his house in Barangay Cogon Pardo, which was damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

Gabuya said in an interview yesterday that he decided to return the money so as not to taint the trust that his supporters gave him.

Gabuya said his decision will not influence the decision of the Office of the President on the administrative complaint filed by lawyer Reymelio Delute against 13 Cebu City officials, including Mayor Michael Rama and Gabuya.

“If they will find out that the giving of assistance is irregular, so be it,” Gabuya said. “Our intention was to help those who were affected by calamities.”

He said that if Malacañang finds that the giving of cash aid was above board, he will donate the money to others who were affected by Yolanda and the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.

Dizon said returning the money was the proper thing to do because of the “cloud of doubt” surrounding the legality of the calamity aid.

Dizon is one of the respondents in the case.

The councilors said the will still reply to Delute’s complaint. The members of the council hope to submit their reply to Malacañang on Monday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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