A councilor from Jagna has raised allegations of misuse of funds, which could amount to up to P1.4 million, by the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) – Bohol during the over 400-strong organization’s year-end assessment at a resort in Tagbilaran City on December 10 to 11.
According Councilor Tonton Aniscal, he along with some colleagues in the Jagna Sangguniang Bayan were given what were called “rebates” from the supposed P6,500 registration fees for the PCL gathering, which were paid for by the attending councilors’ respective local government units.
The Jagna councilors allegedly received P3,000 from fellow Jagna councilor Maricris Jamora, who is the PCL’s secretary general.
Aniscal said that Jamora last month had already urged them to attend the gathering as attendees were to get “large rebates.”
The municipality of Jagna alone paid P65,000 for the registration fees for the participation of 10 of its councilors including two ex-officio members.
Fees from LGUs were supposedly to cover payment for the venue, overnight accommodation and food at the Bohol Tropics Resort.
Aniscal said that they initially thought that the so-called rebates were for Jagna councilors only but later found out that councilors from other localities received them as well, as confirmed by two councilors from Baclayon and Tagbilaran City whose names he asked to be withheld.
“Imagine 482 mi tanan ka konsehal sa Bohol apil ang SK ug ABC ana. Og mi abot pa tanan, og ngana man gani puy gibuhat na gihatagan sila, P1.5 million na kwarta na sa katawhan. Laliman ka, harap-harapang tulis na,” Ansical said.
“Sa akong tan-aw pure corruption na. Kwarta gud na sa katawahan,” he added.
Ansical and three Jagna councilors, Edcel Tutor, Noelle Asevillo and Willy Benialon returned the P3,000 to the town’s treasurer’s office while Jagna Mayor Joseph Rañola called on other legislators of the town to return the amount.
A high-ranking PCL official was contacted by the Chronicle for a statement on the issue but could not be reached as of press time.
Meanwhile, Rañola, a known budget legislation expert, said that prior to the PCL event he had already noted that the registration fee was “excessive.”
Rañola who drew the ire of some Jagna councilors for his previous comment said that he will push for investigations on the issue and “go after” those involved in the alleged corruption.
He said that the overpayment should have been returned to LGU coffers not to the councilors.
“Atong gi-question, mura’g kita pa ang mali unya karon diay napamatud-an na excessive g’yud diay, di na nako palutson,” he said. (A. Doydora)