Local News: Niere to Sustain Fiscalization of City Hall ‘Until it Hurts’
The latest whistleblower against city hall and its alleged anomalies, primarily Mayor Evelio Leonardia, whose former close confidante Romeo Niere has vowed to sustain his anti-corruption campaign, also against the so called familia incorporada until results are achieved, he told journalists in an interview after arriving from Thailand last week, to oversee the various projects being implemented by Non-Government Oganization (NGO) he heads and which is protestant church-based.
Niere, who gradually realized that officials in the city government were allegedly involved in a host of scams, said that in fact, his complaint against a city hall employee and another close confidante of Mayor Leonardia will be heard once more by Councilor Archie Baribar, one of the senior members of the opposition in the city Council. Baribar had started the probe into the alleged CCTV expose’ more than a week ago. Niere had accused Leo Bentinganan, an aide of Leonardia of urging him to help him bag the project with the help of a local supplier of technical requirements by handing over the project to acquire it to the Mayor himself and to endorse it in behalf of the close aide.
But unknown to many people, Niere had increasingly become disturbed and dismayed by Leonardia’s administration of the city, prompting him to speak in a press conference and to tag the top city hall honcho as the "richest chief executive in the Philippines" and the most corrupt.
In an interview with Niere when he arrived from Thailand a week ago, he also charged Leonardia and Hugo "Tutay" Corral of producing money possibly irregularly, which they also used to pay for a blocktime radio program and those of others in a local radio station.
"Where are they sourcing the funds, a huge amount, from the Public Information Office (PIO) fund, the illegal numbers game, jai alai, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) assistance to the local government or from under-the-table deals," Niere said wondering out aloud.
The CCTV attempted scam which would be overpriced to ensure commissions is only but a manifestation of what is being done in city hall, he added.*