Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Capitol fuel recipients face charges

ONE of the three accusers of Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno has threatened to file charges against the owners of private vehicles who allegedly received fuel from the capitol last year.

‘‘They have no right to get a supply of fuel from the government,’’ said RMN TV-8 segment producer Rey Abacahin who was the first to press charges against Moreno in connection with the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA).

The COA, in a report, questioned the capitol’s P12.6-million fuel expenses in 2005. It said the capitol provided fuel to private vehicles. Capitol officials later claimed they were able to justify the fuel expenses, and that the provincial auditor was satisfied with their explanation.

But Abacahin said he was not satisfied with the capitol’s claim and that its officials need to be held accountable.

He said he was looking into the COA report and was contemplating on filing more charges, this time against those who received fuel from the capitol.

Abacahin said a broadcaster is one of the fuel recipients. He however declined to identify the broadcaster, saying he was still gathering more evidence against him. He said he was still discussing the matter with his lawyer.

He claimed the broadcaster’s name surfaced when capitol documents were leaked as a result of the 2005 audit.

Based on the information he gathered, Abacahin said the broadcaster received a supply of fuel from the capitol ‘‘quarterly.’’

Abacahin and two others––television and radio ‘‘blocktimers’’ Eddie Dangcal and Ronnie Waniwan––have accused Moreno of graft and technical malversation of funds before the ombudsman on separate occassions a week ago. The three strongly denied Moreno’s accusations that they were being backed by ‘‘handlers and financiers’’ and that the complaints were part of a supposed smear campaign.

"If Moreno is telling the truth and if he has committed no wrongdoing, then he should prove that he is, in the proper forum. If he is on the side of truth, then the truth would set him free," Abacahin said.

Moreno, over DxIF-Bombo Radyo late last week, strongly denied any wrongdoing on his part. He said his accusers were being used by his political enemies who supposedly launched a demolition campaign against him.

Moreno alleged that his accusers were being backed by ‘‘handlers and financiers’’ who are supposedly out to carry out a demolition job against him.

Moreno said it was unlikely that his accusers were acting on their own when they field complaints for graft against him before the ombudsman on separate occasions.

"Their intentions are very obvious," said Moreno over DxIF-Bombo Radyo, adding that the complainants were merely being used.

Moreno said he feared the image of the province would be adversely affected by the accusations. ‘‘It’s not me, it’s the province that will really suffer.’’

He faulted his political opponents, saying they resorted to using ‘‘dummies’’ to press charges against him because they were supposedly running out of issues for the alleged demolition job.

"All they are after is to demolish me, even to the extent of using dummies."
Abacahin, a local TV segment producer who is one of the complainants, strongly denied Moreno’s accusation.

"I filed the complaint against the governor because of principles. I have no financiers or handlers,’’ Abacahin said.

Abacahin, the first to press charges against Moreno, said he filed the complaint with the intention of knowing the truth and to pressure the governor to be accountable for the use of P12.6 million of capitol funds to provide private vehicles fuel last year.

Abacahin said the owners of all the private vehicles who were given fuel by the capitol in 2005 should also be investigated and subsequently charged in court, too.

That can be read at Gold Star Daily

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