Peña camp: Accusations vs Makati city hall official a ‘squid tactic’
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of acting Makati City Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr said on Friday, August 28, that the allegations saying that Makati Action Center officer-in-charge (OIC) Arthur Cruto has P2 million worth of unliquidated cash advances is a “squid tactic.”
On Thursday, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s media affairs head Joey Salgado claimed that Cruto failed to completely liquidate a cash advance worth of P1,820,000 in August 2004 for the Araw ng Makati celebration and another cash advance worth P300,600 in April 2005 for an ARIS seminar.
However, Peña’s spokesperson Gilbert Delos Reyes said on Friday that “the call to pin down Cruto on the said issue has the characteristics of a squid tactic, wherein the accuser becomes the accused.”
Delos Reyes, who is also the current head of Makati’s Public Information Office (PIO), added that Salgado’s statement was a “vindictive move.”
Cruto has testified in the last two Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings about the alleged “ghost” beneficiaries of Makati’s Blu Card benefit program for senior citizens.
"Isn’t it strange that they (Binay camp) are now calling for the immediate resolution of this case when they could have done this over a decade ago?” Delos Reyes asked.
Salgado used to be the Makati PIO head, until the Vice President’s son, Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, was slapped with a 6-month preventive suspension order over an allegedly overpriced city building. He was replaced by elected Vice Mayor Peña in an acting capacity in June.
The Vice President himself was mayor of Makati for 21 years.
Open to criticisms
Peña previously told Rappler that the city government is “open” to comments like that of Salgado and that they will “convene and act on it.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Delos Reyes, saying that they will respond to the allegations “according to its merits.”
"Actually based on our initial findings, it appears that Cruto's name was merely used to access the said funds while the actual disbursement was made by the leadership then of the Liga ng mga Barangay. Truth be told, I think it is them who needs to explain on this issue," Delos Reyes said.
He emphasized that Peña’s administration “welcomes all criticisms pertaining to his administration.”
“Acting Mayor Peña's administration will be characterized by transparency and accountability. He will not tolerate any form of abuse in the city government under his watch,” added Delos Reyes. – Rappler.com