PHILSTAR

THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Graft Division has recommended the prosecution of a former and the incumbent mayor of Siayan town in Zamboanga del Norte for graft and corruption over questionable contracts with businesses allegedly owned by the former.   

The complaint filed before the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao names former Siayan mayor Flora L. Villarosa, incumbent mayor Josecor S. Gepolongca, and two others.

In the 31-page recommendation sent to the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday, the NBI alleges that Ms. Villarosa “acquired numerous businesses, real estate properties, vehicles, and money which are manifestly disproportionate to her salary and other sources of lawful income.”

The information was reported by a woman who claims to be one of the people whom Ms. Villarosa had “dummy arrangements” with. Her name was allegedly used as “dummy owner” of Midway Gas Station and Midway Enterprises in Siayan, Zamboanga Del Norte.

Midway Gas Station and Midway Enterprises, allegedly owned by Ms. Villarosa, bagged contracts from the Siayan local government during her term as mayor from 2014 to 2019.

Information submitted by the Commission on Audit to the NBI showed that Midway Gas Station and Midway Enterprises had a total of 190 contracts and projects with the municipality amounting to P32.3 million during that period.

Mr. Gepolongca, who succeeded as mayor in 2019, has been included in the complaint due to “continuous and intentional non-compliance and non-submission of the public documents” requested by the NBI relating to their investigation of Ms. Villarosa.

Ms. Villarosa’s secretary and the “dummy owner” of the two companies are also implicated in the graft case. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago