City gov’t to file syndicated estafa vs YMCA-Iloilo

The YMCA-Iloilo building on Iznart Street, Iloilo City. (Joseph B.A. Marzan)

By John Noel E. Herrera 

The Iloilo City Government will file a case against the Young Men’s Christian Association of Iloilo (YMCA-Iloilo) over issues of illegal rent collection as the building was already a property of the city government.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said that the City Legal Office has recommended the filing of a criminal complaint for syndicated estafa against all members of YMCA-Iloilo’s board of trustees.

“Ang isa to nga suggestion sang syudad, ma-file kita syndicated estafa because they continued getting rental that is supposedly for the city already,” Treñas said.

The city mayor also said that they have no choice but to file cases to protect the interests of the city.

“May apat pa sa YMCA nga waay ka bayad sa duta sang syudad, so ang apat nga ni, we have no choice but really to file the cases that are available and to protect the interest of the city, otherwise kung pabay-an ta, kita naman ang ipa-Ombudsman nga gin-pabay-an ta ang interest sang syudad,” Treñas said during a press conference on Tuesday, January 3, 2022.

The city mayor also explained that a criminal case for syndicated estafa is non-bailable and the number of counts will be based on the number of times they have illegally collected rentals and have not turned over the same to the Iloilo City Treasurer.

Lawyer Joseph Edward Areno had earlier told the Daily Guardian that they had obtained several receipts issued by the YMCA for leases from two of the tenants through the City General Services Offices (GSO).

He added that they have not yet fully accounted for how much the YMCA had collected, but their rough estimates amount to more than P1 million a year, with lease payments stretching back to 2020.

In 2020, the city government took possession of the YMCA property situated on Iznart Street, City Proper, after the management failed to pay its taxes.

The city government then filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Possession which was granted by the Regional Trial Court, and was also served to the management of YMCA-Iloilo.

Meanwhile, Treñas also expressed his plans to renovate the said property and continue its operation as a sports facility.

“May plano kita nga ipa-repare (YMCA) pero sigihon man na gyapon as a sports facility, ipakay-o ang swimming pool, ang bowling alley, may mga billiards, and chess,” he said.

The city mayor also emphasized the importance of improving sports facilities in the city, especially since Iloilo City ranks fifth in the Batang Pinoy 2022.

“You know we are number five in the recently concluded Batang Pinoy so ang aton nga commitment sa sports sang kabataan is really strong,” he said.