Ex-mayor, family face graft raps

By: Jomarie A. Billones

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – A former mayor and his family were charged for graft over alleged irregularities in the donation of a lot used for a government building project.

Charged before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas were former Pilar Mayor Gideon Patricio, his son incumbent Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Mitchelle John Patricio, and couple Leonard Fernandez and Ma. Paz Patricio-Fernandez, all of Barangay Poblacion, Pilar, Capiz.

Part of the 15-page complaint filed by Transparency and Accountability Task Force (TATF) is the respondents’ alleged violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Swindling and Falsification of Public Document) under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

Administrative charges were filed against the Patricios for gross and grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.

According to Atty. Cris Heredia of TATF, they have a strong case against the respondents that stemmed from a lot donation for the construction of the Land Transportation Office.

The lot was donated by Gideon’s daughter Paz and her husband Leonard.

But the TATF claimed that Paz had no right to donate the lot because the transaction was void from the start.

Mitchelle John Patricio branded the issue as “trial by publicity” hurled by the other political camp against his family.

He said there was malice in the complaint because the filing was timed with the Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL)-Capiz chapter election today, Sept 9, 2019. But he assured that he will answer the complaint in the proper venue.

Mitchelle said they have nothing to fear because they have evidence to prove their innocence.

Meanwhile, Gideon urged the present administration to concentrate in improving Pilar instead of running after his political enemies.

Gideon lost to Mayor Arnold Perez by more than 1,000 votes in the May 13, 2019 election.