Jed’s deal with Injap on Parola terminal “dead” – lawyer

The controversial P135-million private-public partnership (PPP) agreement between the Iloilo City government and Double Dragon Properties Inc. has been permanently shelved after a prominent Ilonggo lawyer based in Manila voiced his strong objections to City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

This was revealed Tuesday by Atty. Rex Rico who said he was assured by Mabilog that the contract under its present terms and conditions has been “held in abeyance indefinitely”. 

Atty. Rico spoke to this writer at the De Paul College where the Hall of Justice is temporarily situated. Both of us chanced upon each other at Branch 35.

“It’s scrapped for all intents and purposes,” Atty. Rico said. “But if they insist on proceeding with the contract, then I’ll go all the way to the Supreme Court to question its legality.”

Atty. Rico made this disclosure after I thanked him for the views he had expressed at a cable TV interview several months ago on the lopsided terms and conditions of the contract. I said I felt vindicated by his coming out to question the contract as “null and void” and that it will put city officials in hot waters if implemented.

“No, I went a step further after that interview,” he said. “I wrote City Mayor Mabilog telling him he would be liable criminally along with the city council,” he added.

At first, his letter was just ignored by Mabilog and Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III, he said. “After about a month, I sent another letter reminding them that they could be charged before the Ombudsman for failure to reply to my letter,” he said.

That’s when both Mabilog and Espinosa wrote him on the status of the project, he revealed.

Atty. Rico reminded Mabilog that he wasn’t raising his objections for any other purpose than to make sure the law isn’t violated, he told me. “It’s not because of politics. He knows that I had supported his candidacy, and in fact, my brother is working as his Executive Assistant,” he said.

He added it’s understandable for Mabilog not to admit publicly that the contract was littered with anomalous terms and conditions after I had filed a case against him before the Ombudsman.

When I told him that Mabilog operated four Mang Inasal outlets in Metro Manila and Luzon, Atty. Rico said that this exposed the local chief executive to the issue of “conflict of interest”.

“I didn’t know that, but if that is indeed true, then Mabilog violated the anti-graft law when he signed the contract,” he explained.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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