Is it time to pay Aladdin Restaurant for the P12 million in meals it supposedly provided the frontliners in Dumaguete during the Enhanced Community Quarantine?
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo thinks so.
He said he fears that if the City doesn’t pay, the City could be sued by the supplier for intentionally delaying the payment.
“We are not the only one throwing the punches. They could punch back. The problem is pride has already set in. [Councilor Edgar] Lentorio has not even spoken but the Council already has a letter requesting for an Ombudsman investigation. It’s not good if you’re on the other side of the fence. Let’s not judge until everyone has been heard,” Remollo told reporters after the City Council session last Wednesday.
On the other hand, Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova said it is not yet time to pay the supplier while the investigation is ongoing.
Cordova said while it is up to the Mayor if he will pay the restaurant, it might create more problems for the City government.
“All of us might suffer the consequences from a backlash, in case people will say that the investigation did not amount to anything because the questioned supplier had been paid,” the Vice Mayor said.
Cordova said the letter they sent to the Ombudsman was requesting for an investigation.
“Councilor Lentorio cannot blame us [for bringing it up to the Ombudsman]. This is public money, and it’s but natural that you could be under suspicion. It’s up to you to prove your innocence.”
Councilor Joe Ken Arbas as well is against paying Aladdin while the issue remains unresolved.
“I highly question that P12-million transaction. Until this is straightened out, we should not pay the P12 million. If we pay that using those documents that were presented to us that look like [coming from] a sari-sari store operation, so many people will be dragged all because of the sloppy work of a few,” Arbas said.