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Alvarado tags plunder charges ‘black propaganda’

Malolos City, Bulacan — Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, charged with irregularities before the Ombudsman along with six other Capitol officials by a man allegedly associated with former governors Josie dela Cruz and Joselito Mendoza, remained steadfast yesterday and called the issues hurled against him which first circulated as a “white paper” as purely black propaganda.

Alvarado tagged accusations that he did not submit liquidation documents in the fiscal year 2012 to the Commission on Audit (COA) as “a barrage of lies and baseless imputations against me,” adding that the provincial government under his watch has always been updated in the submission of documents required by COA.

“The allegation is obviously a part of a sinister black propaganda concocted and fabricated by scheming politicians aiming to dupe the people of Bulacan through their poisonous plots,” he said.

Although the governor did not directly accuse his predecessors – brother and sister Joselito Mendoza and Josie M. dela Cruz – he challenged his detractors to come out in the open with their accusations, particularly regarding anomalies in projects which he claimed had stemmed from their own doing but are now being pinned on him.

Alvarado’s accuser before the Ombudsman – one Antonio Manganti of Barangay Camachile, Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT), Bulacan – is not well known other than being listed in the Capitol payroll as a “security agent II” in the term of Gov. Mendoza.

“The allegation (of Manganti) is obviously a part of a sinister black propaganda concocted and fabricated by scheming politicians aiming to dupe the people of Bulacan through their poisonous plots,” Alvarado said.

He also pointed out that contrary to the lies being circulated by his political opponents, the repair and rehabilitation of Angat and Bustos dams is coming underway.

The plunder charges cropped up against Alvarado when his administration began to scrutinize the alleged anomalous transaction connected with the North Food Exchange (NFEX) Project that was hatched and implemented during the terms of the two former governors.

It was learned that when the NFEX was implemented and registered during the time of Gov. Dela Cruz, the Provincial Government had the commanding share of 50 percent while the other 50 percent was divided to the private sectors organizations.

As the governor then, Dela Cruz was made chairman of the NFEX and when her brother, Mendoza, became the governor, she was allegedly retained as chairman, Capitol officials said.

Alvarado said that a week before he took his oath as governor in 2010, the former Provincial Administrator who is a relative of Mendoza allegedly allowed the capital shares of Dela Cruz to increase, making her the major stockholder of NFEX.

“Yung shares ni Governor Josie (Dela Cruz) nag-skyrocket to 90 percent. Ang share ng Provincial Government na-reduce sa 10 percent. Sa pag-uusap namin ni Governor Willy, kanyang sinabi na kahit kelan ay hindi siya tumutol sa NFEX, ang gusto lamang niya ay ibalik ang commanding share ng Bulacan government na 50 percent,” a Capitol insider said.

“From the start there appears to be a conflict of interest because it has now become very clearly that the family of former Gov. Dela Cruz now owns majority of the shares when it should be the provincial government who should have the controlling number of shares,” the source from the Capitol added.

The same sources revealed that during its early stage, the Sta. Lucia Realty reportedly gave 28 hectares of land to NFEX so that their real estate property can also be developed.

It was also averred that some P300 million were released by the Bases Conversion Development Authority to purchase lands for the relocation of informal settlers living along the former tracks of the Philippine National railways to pave the way for the construction of the now mothballed NorthRail Project.

During the term of Gov. Mendoza, the sources said, the provincial government built access roads and 50 housing units, but were stopped after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) did not issue Environment Clearance Certificate to the developers.

The BCDA and the Northrail management are now looking for the land titles – which was then donated to the provincial government. However, the land titles are no longer in the provincial capitol, said the source.