Ex-Pasig mayor Eusebio faces graft complaint over P25-million grant to CamSur town

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2019 05:09 PM

MANILA - Former Pasig City mayor Robert Eusebio is facing a graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman over a P25-million financial assistance given to a Camarines Sur town supposedly for the failed congressional bid of his wife in the May 2019 elections.

The complaint, which also alleged violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, was filed Wednesday by Tambuli ng Mamamayan ng Pasig Inc., a non-stock, non-profit organization composed of Pasig City residents.

The group alleged that the financial assistance in 2018 to Pamplona town in the province, a sister city of Pasig, was to advance the political ambitions of Eusebio’s wife Maribel Andaya-Eusebio, also a former Pasig Mayor.

Andaya-Eusebio had wanted to run for Camarines Sur second district representative but the Commission on Elections canceled her certificate of candidacy as she is not a registered voter in the province. 

Included in the complaint aside from the Eusebio couple are then city council officials Rodrigo Asilo, Gregorio Rupisan Jr., Rhichie Gerard Brown, Orlando Benito, Regino Balderama, Rosalio Martires, Ferdinand Avis, Wilfredo Sityar, Iyo Christian Bernardo, and Reynaldo San Buenaventura, who passed the sisterhood city resolution in May 2018.

“Customarily, the check should have been awarded by the mayor, any elected official of Pasig city, the city treasurer or any legitimate official of Pasig City,” the complainants said.

"However, in order to advance her political designs, it was respondent Maribel Andaya-Eusebio, the wife of Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio, who turned over the P25-million check."

The complaint also included then Pamplona Mayor Augustus Caesar Cruz III, who supposedly failed to promptly act on the letters of the complainants for copies of memoranda of agreement between the two cities.

The agreements supposedly guaranteed a total P125 million in financial grants to Pamplona over a period of 5 years.

“On the part of the Municipality of Pamplona, there is no appropriate ordinance issued to enter into a sisterhood agreement with the City of Pasig as required by Section 33 of the Local Government Code,” the complainants said.

The complainants also asked the Ombudsman to hold the respondents administratively liable for grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and abuse of authority.

They also asked for the preventive suspension of the officials who are still occupying government posts.

In the May midterm elections, Eusebio lost his reelection bid to then councilor Vico Sotto.