Valenzuela mayor says rumors on his family distract public from tollway issue


Posted at Dec 21 2020 09:23 AM | Updated as of Dec 21 2020 09:31 AM

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MANILA - Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Monday belied rumors on his family that he said distract the public on the issue of heavy traffic in the city's tollway.

A message circulating on Viber allege the Gatchalian family was interested in a portion of land worth P100 million owned by Maynilad, but the mayor's family only offered P500,000.

Gatchalian said it was the local government that expropriated the land from a private citizen, who was a former city councilor, to build a polytechnic college.

The local government only found out that the land was owned by Maynilad during court proceedings, the mayor said.

Maynilad and NLEX Corp are under the MVP group of companies.

"Ang pakiwari ko, nililihis ang tao sa tunay na isyu: 'yung traffic na dinudulot sa toll plaza ng NLEX," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(My opinion is this is distracting the public from the issue which is the traffic in NLEX toll plaza.)

"I think hindi dapat madistract o malihis ang atensyon ng taumbayan sa totoong isyu, yung traffic na dinudulot dito at naghahanap tayo ng solusyon."

(I think the public should not be distracted from the real issue: the traffic, which we're finding a way to solve.)

Gatchalian earlier issued a suspension order against Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation for being unable to address heavy traffic in NLEX due to its supposed faulty RFID system. The tollway has since resumed operations.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan has denied his firm's involvement in the issue.

"There’s a malicious and absolutely false rumor being circulated about the Gatchalian family; that we’re somehow sponsoring this rumor. WE DO NOT HAVE ANY ROLE OR PARTICIPATION WHATSOEVER WITH THIS RUMOR. WE DO NOT ENDORSE OR SUPPORT, THIS SPITEFUL RUMOR IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER," he said in a tweet Friday.