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Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and several other city officials are facing plunder charges for allegedly pocketing about P77 million worth of real property tax collected from various barangays in the city.
In a plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday, five barangay chairpersons alleged that Moreno and several other city officials, through a resolution, funneled more than P77 million worth of real property tax to just one village, Barangay 128.
The complainants said the amounts were disbursed to Barangay 128 on two several occasions – Oct. 8, 2013 (over P25 million) and Dec. 2, 2013 (over P52 million).
The complainants said the tax collections disbursed to Barangay 128 "came from sources not within the territorial jurisdiction of the said barangay” but from other barangays.
The complainants alleged the city council also redefined the jurisdiction of Barangay 128 to cover business and industrial establishments "so that it would be easy for them to share in the proceeds of the real property tax."
The complainants were barangay chieftains William Ypon of Barangay 101, Elenita Reyes of Barangay 105, Tito Caldoza Jr. of Barangay 106, Ominador Caccam Jr. of Barangay 107 and Eduardo Solis of Barangay 116.
Aside from Moreno, also charged were city Councilors Edward Maceda and Marlon Lacson, city administrator Simeon Garcia, secretary to the mayor Edward Serapio, city accountant Rosario Planas, city treasurer Liberty Toledo, city budget officer Maria Pamela Manzano, Brgy 128 chairman Siegred Hernane and his councilors Ricky Hernane, William Depano, Albin Salamat, Jesus dela Cruz, Ricardo dela Cruz and Marcelino Reyes.
In an interview with GMA News' “Saksi” aired Tuesday evening, Moreno denied the allegations and said that he is ready to face the charges.
“As far as we're concerned, we have not violated any provision of the law, usong uso lang yung salitang plunder ngayon, fad yan e,” Moreno said. — Elizabeth Marcelo/RSJ, GMA News