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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 5, 2012
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Plunder case has no
basis, Montilla says

Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla said Saturday that there is no basis for the criminal and administrative complaints filed against him and 20 others before the Office of the Ombudsman Friday for plunder, malversation of public funds and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act .

The Sipalay City government would not have been given a Seal of Good Housekeeping by the Department of Interior and Local Government if they had committed the offenses being alleged in the complaint filed by Rodolfo Divinagracia, a resident of Sipalay City and a member of Samahang Magdalo, he said.

Copies of the complaint were furnished the media by SMI president Gary Alejano, but he said its filing was the personal initiative of Divinagracia and he has nothing to do with it.

Alejano had lost to Montilla for mayor of Sipalay City in 2010.

Montilla said that, with elections nearing, it appears that the people who filed the complaint want to subject him to trial by publicity to try to destroy him in the 2013 polls.

It is political harassment by those who want to run against him in 2013, he added.

Respondents in the complaint include the immediate family of Montilla, who are: his wife, Juana Jamora Montilla, his ailing mother and former Mayor, Soledad Chua Montilla, and his sister Gina Montilla Lizares.

The accused also include, the present members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod identified as Myrna Fernandez, Edmund Garinganao, Jonathan Eran, Ullysis Hisona, Dennis Galvan, Dionilo Bogtae, Alfredo Lim, Bardot Nobleza, William Selga, and Phraem Mediodia.

Also included are the present ABC chairman, Henly Lirazan and Jaira Eran, SK Chairman, and impleaded are Sanderson “Sandy” Sumugat, Bebsie Villegas, Nathaniel Jan Celiz, Tomas Tronco, Philip Zamora, Eva Sabusap, Renato Manilla, Fernando Balbin, Eleazar Balbin, Simfroso “Nonoy” De La Cruz, Severo “Beroy” Hablado, Elmer Balbin, Janet Selga, Engineer Joel Presaldo, and Roquito Garcia.*CPG

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