MANILA, Philippines - Caloocan City Vice-Mayor Edgar Erice has filed corruption charges against Mayor Enrico Echiverri before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Erice accused Echiverri of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Local Government Code of 1991, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, and Section 171 of the Revised Penal Code arising from the memorandum of agreement (MOA) that the city official signed with Gotesco Investments, Inc.
In his complaint affidavit, Erice alleged that on September 19, 2008, Echiverri signed the MOA with Gotesco president Jose Go, wherein it was stipulated that the purchase price for a 22,685.82 square-meter lot owned by Caloocan City where the Gotesco Grand Central is situated shall be payable on installment.
Erice, in a press statement, said Echiverri negotiated with Gotesco without first obtaining authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod, as mandated by Section 22 [c] of RA 7160.
He said the MOA was also not submitted to the city council for ratification, as required under Section 455 (b)(vi) of the same code.
Erice also accused Echiverri of falsification of public documents when the mayor said in the MOA that he was authorized by an ordinance to negotiate with Gotesco and sign the MOA since there was no ordinance or resolution passed by the Sanggunian for such purpose.
In his complaint affidavit, Erice said Echiverri has yet to act on his formal letter requesting for copy of the MOA that was received by the Office of the City Mayor on January 14, 201.
The vice mayor claimed that the terms and conditions of the MOA are tilted in favor of Gotesco and grossly disadvantageous to the city and its constituents.
According to Erice, the MOA states that the purchase price for the city-owned land valued at P182,085,078.30 shall be paid by Gotesco in the following manner: down payment of P30,000,000.00 payable in the form of a cashier's/manager's check in the name of the city treasurer of Caloocan; and the balance to be paid in 36 equal monthly installments to be covered by post-dated checks payable to the city treasurer of Caloocan.
Echiverri has yet to comment on the allegations.