MOOE Issue Meant To Deflect Tinga Syndicate Links
The camp of Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano on Tuesday turned the tables against her political foes, accusing them of engaging in squid tactics in an effort to deflect public attention from mounting evidence indicating their links to organized crime and illegal drugs syndicates.
At the same time, Atty. Darwin Icay, Nationalista Party-Taguig spokesperson, dismissed as baseless and diversionary allegations made by some members of the Taguig City Council that they were deprived of funds for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) just because they belong to the other side of the political fence.
“Their efforts are pure political smearing. They are desperate because Mayor Lani and her team lead in all surveys by a mile, while they are weighed down by all sorts of issues including the recent arrest of their relatives, Joanna Tinga and Henry Tinga, both prominent members of the Tinga Drug Syndicate,” Atty. Icay stressed.
Atty. Icay said that the recent spate of attacks against Mayor Lani is nothing more than an effort to misdirect and mislead the public from her administration’s accomplishments, notably in the area of peace and order.
“Mayor Lani’s hard stance against illegal drugs in the city seems to have provoked an offensive from those who have links with notorious drug syndicates. But she will not stand down on her administration’s all-out war against drugs in Taguig City,” he said.
Just last Monday, eight suspected members of the Tinga drug syndicate were arrested during a police raid inside a three-story apartment complex in Barangay Sta. Ana in Taguig City.
The arrested suspects included Joana Tinga-Palacio and Henry Tinga.
Meanwhile, Taguig City Treasurer and Legal Officer Atty. Mar Miranda denied the allegations made by the Vice Mayor’s Office and some councilors that they were deprived of funds for their MOOE for the year 2013.
Miranda explained that MOOE of the city government has been centralized to key departments not for political reasons but merely to conduct a “thorough house cleaning” and rationalizing expenses of the different departments and facilitate approval of releases and monitoring.
Among these key departments are: Personnel Office, City Engineer’s Office, Office of Social Welfare and Development, and General Services Office.
“This move was done to address the unbridled and wanton spending of the past administration,” Miranda said.
The centralization of MOOE budget, he said, has resulted in the generation of greater savings for the city government and “the observance of prudence in the use of public funds for truly public undertakings.”
The centralization effort, he added, was even approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod itself when it passed the budget.
In fact, Miranda said, other offices such as the Business Permits and Licensing Office, Legal Office, Traffic Management Office, Budget Office, Planning and Development Office, Assessor’s Office, Local Building Office, Civil Registry Office, Office of the City Accountant, Market Management Office and the Public Information Office were also not allocated MOOE as a result of the centralization.
“Besides, the city’s MOOE are liquidated not through mere certification but through standard auditing and accounting procedures,” Miranda pointed out.
He also said that the allegation that Vice Mayor Elias and councilors were driven out of the session hall is totally false and without basis.
“They have been duly notified of the reorganization of rooms and offices in the city hall in view of the fact that the previous administration has left most offices and rooms in disarray and their cohorts appropriated unto themselves certain select areas, leaving the Mayor and her department heads with no offices to utilize,” he said adding that the Office of the Ombudsman has already dismissed the case on this alleged ‘eviction.’
Miranda said records would show that the past administration had made ‘midnight donations’ of almost 300 of the city government’s vehicles, properties and equipment to political allies and supporters.
“They have likewise abused the use of their government-issued cellphones and vehicles by using the same for personal use. Their fleet cards for gasoline expenses ran between P500,000 to P1 million. We cannot tolerate these unconscionable acts,” he said.
On the issue of the Real Property Tax (RPT) shares of barangays in Taguig City, Miranda said this is an issue that is still subject of a pending case with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“The past administration caused the subdivision of the barangays without providing for clear delineations and boundaries to protect territorial integrity of said areas resulting in confusion and non-determination of the exact allocation of RPT shares,” he said.
“These are legitimate issues unlike in the past administration when Freddie Tinga withheld the RPTs of barangays for no reason other than the fact that their barangay captains were allied with the Cayetanos,” he added.
Miranda challenged them to explain instead where the P1.2 billion of the past administration’s P1.5 billion loan went.
“The Lani administration inherited this huge debt which did not benefit the city nor its constituents, and is, sadly, the one forced to pay it to the whopping tune of P312 million a year,” he said.
Kinondena ng Nacionalista Party-Taguig ang intensiyon ng mga kalaban sa pulitika ni Mayor Lani Cayetano sa pagpapalabas ng mga kasinungalingan matapos na madakip sa isang drug raid ang dalawang pamangkin ng tumatakbo sa pagka-alkalde ng lungsod na si Rebecca Tinga at ni 2nd District Representative Freddie Tinga.
Iginiit ni Atty. Darwin Icay, spokesman ng Nacionalista Party-Taguig na maliwanag na ang taktika ngayon ng kampo ng mga Tinga ay alisin ang atensyon ng mga Taguigueno sa drug raid kung saan nasakote ang dalawa sa kanilang mga kaanak na kasapi ng notoryus na Tinga Drug Syndicate.
“Nag-iimbento sila ng sari-saring kasinungalingan upang matakpan ang paghahasik ng lagim ng Tinga Drug Syndicate na alam nating namayagpag sa loob ng tatlong termino ng panunungkulan ni Freddie Tinga,”paliwanag ni Icay.
Samantala, itinuwid ng city treasurer at city legal officer na si Atty. Mar Miranda ang usapin tungkol sa usapin ng Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
“Isang malaking kasinungalingan ang kanilang pinagkakalat. Alam naman ng mga kalaban sa pulitika ng Cayetano administration na centralized na ang MOOE ng lungsod. Ipinatupad po ang centralization nito upang hindi na maulit ang walang habas na paglustay sa pera ng taumbayan tulad nang ginawa ng nakalipas na administrasyon. Sapul po na naipatupad ang repormang ito sa MOOE ay masusing nababantayan ang paggasta. Nagresulta po ito sa savings ng city government,” giit ni Atty. Miranda.
“Isa pang kasinungalingan ay ang alegasyon na pinaalis sa kanilang mga tanggapan sina Vice Mayor George Elias at mga kaalyado nitong Konsehal. Ang katotohanan ay inilipat lamang ng puwesto ang kanilang mga tanggapan. Isa pa ay matagal nang ibinasura ng Office of the Ombudsman ang reklamo patungkol dito,” dagdag pa ni Atty. Miranda.
Tungkol naman sa isyu ng sasakyan, gasolina at telepono, iginiit ni Atty. Miranda na walang ibang dapat sisihin kundi si Vice Mayor Elias at mga kaalyado nitong Konsehal.
“May hawak kaming record na nagpapakita ng pag-abuso ng mga ito sa kanilang mga posisyon. Bago matapos ang termino ng dating administrasyon ay nagsagawa ito ng midnight donations sa kanilang mga kaalyado sa pulitika. Halos 300 sasakyan, mga gamit at property ng lungsod ang kanilang ipinamigay sa kanilang mga kakampi. Nagbayad ang lungsod ng mula kalahati hanggang P1 Milyon para sa gasolina ng kanilang mga service vehicle na nagamit sa personal nilang mga lakad. Ganito rin ang nangyari sa kanilang mga cellphone na inisyu ng pamahalaang lungsod,” paliwanag ni Atty. Miranda.
Tungkol sa usapin ng Real Property Tax (RPT) shares ng mga barangay. Nilinaw ni Atty. Miranda na may pending case ito sa Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Hindi po maibigay sa mga apektadong barangay ang kanilang RPT shares dahil hindi pa madetermina ngayon ang boundary ng bawat barangay na resulta po ng paglikha ng 13 bagong barangay. Dahil hindi pa malinaw ang boundary ng mga barangay na ito ay hindi pa makapagbigay ng eksaktong alokasyon ng RPT shares. Lehitimo po ang usaping ito di tulad noong panahon ng pinalitang administrasyon kung saan iniipit nila ang pondo ng mga di-kaalyadong kapitan ng barangay,” pahayag pa ni Atty. Miranda.
Hinamon din ni Atty. Miranda ang kampo ng mga Tinga at kaalyado nito na sa halip na mag-imbento ng sari-saring kasinungalingan ay ipaliwanag nila kung saan napunta ang P1.5 billion na inutang ng Tinga administration.
“Ang utang na ito na iniwan ng dating administrasyon ay binabayaran ng Cayetano administration ng tumataginting na P312 million kada taon,” pagtatapos ni Atty. Miranda.