Records from 143 Houseware, the store that supplied most of the food containers, showed that no other name appeared as having received the items but Councilor Lentorio’s.
The management of 143 Houseware was invited to the Council’s investigation to verify the claim of Aladdin Restaurant owner Patrick Henri George made during the Executive Session on Tuesday, that all deliveries of the food containers were “not in Lentorio’s name” but in George’s name.
Lawyer Jose Cubelo and 143 Houseware manager Richie Dayao showed the Council photocopies of about 18 delivery receipts covering separate dates in May 2020, under the name of Atty. Edgar Lentorio, but which were signed received in his behalf by Angelica Quinit and a certain Gina.
Councilor Rosel Erames noted during the City Council session that George had been giving inconsistent statements because during the first Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, George had said Councilor Lentorio “even used his name to purchase on credit the boxes for food from 143 Store”.
Councilor Michael Bandal also noted that the Council was made to believe during the Executive Session that Councilor Lentorio only introduced Aladdin to 143 Houseware, and that it was Aladdin who continued with the dealings.
Representing 143 Houseware, lawyer Cubelo said their records show that Councilor Lentorio approached 143 Houseware to get supplies on credit for the provision of food for the frontliners.
Minutes of the first Blue Ribbon Committee meeting also recorded George as saying that aside from the food containers, Lentorio supplies meat to Aladdin, and that they were “renting the place (lechonan) of Councilor Lentorio at the back of his law office in barangay Bagacay…since the Alladin kitchen is in Sibulan”.
Councilor Karissa Faye Tolentino-Maxino also asked to see the check payments made by Councilor Lentorio to 143 Houseware.
Responding to a question by Councilor Agustin Miguel Perdices how they thought the two ladies were employees of Councilor Lentorio, Atty. Cubelo said while they were not formally introduced as employees of Atty. Lentorio, they saw connection because as soon as the order was placed…when the pick-up date was set, Angelica and Gina would go to the house or the store to get the supplies.
Tolentino-Maxino said that as City Councilors, they should all strive to avoid of even being suspected of involvement in corruption.
She said she was happy that even when the concerned party was their friend and companion in the Council, they continued their investigation in the quest for truth.
But she said the investigation cannot be complete without Councilor Lentorio presenting his side of the story. “We will give him the chance to be heard,” she said.