Parañaque councilors face graft raps over offshore business permits 'paper mill'

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2018 10:05 PM

MANILA- Parañaque City Councilor Brillante Inciong has filed a graft complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against his fellow councilors, Ryan Yllana, and Edwin Benzon, for a supposed “paper mill” at the city council fast-tracking the release of business permits of offshore businesses.

Inciong alleged that the issuance of Letters of No Objection or LONO by the city council has been abused and at one point he was bribed by Rick Villanueva, the chief of staff of Yllana and is also a respondent in the complaint.

A LONO must be sought by businesses to ensure that the city council interposes no objection to the business operation through a legislative measure.

“He told me that his boss directed him to give to me the said bag containing money (LONO money) because of the approved LONO measures. I refused to take the bag and instead asked several questions before I told him that I recorded him,” Inciong said.

Inciong said that on April 12, 2018, Yllana, who is serving as the council’s majority leader, inserted 13 LONO resolutions.

He said he objected to the passage of the resolutions without a committee meeting and a report.

“While I was being pacified by Councilors Wahoo Sotto and Bong Benzon in the adjacent room, the remaining councilors passed the LONO resolution in the plenary,” Inciong said.

Inciong also mentioned the NayonLanding project which earned the ire of President Duterte as one of the LONO resolutions accomplished by the city council.

He also mentioned the name of Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval and his son who were supposed to be owners of off-shore business YRB Solutions, as claimed by City Administrator Fernando Santiago.

Inciong, however, said that upon his verification, the names of the father and son were not listed as owners of the company.

“With all these being said, it can only be inferred that there is a paper-mill in the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Paranaque particularly for the issuance of LONO resolutions favoring companies that promise and give grease money,” Inciong said. 

Inciong also asked the Office of the Ombudsman to issue a preventive suspension order against Yllana, Villanueva, and Benzon to prevent them from using their positions while the case is on-going.