I write in reaction to Lamitan City Vice Mayor Arleigh Eisma’s unfounded allegations against me, which were aired by Rina Jimenez-David in her Jan. 20 column, and to set the record straight.
1. On budget alteration. None was ever effected on the 2012 city budget. The budget that was spent and used was the same budget submitted to and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod, as attested by the Provincial Budget Office and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. A certified copy of the budget document was submitted to the Commission on Audit (COA) and another one is available in my office for David’s ready reference at any reasonable hour of the day.
2. On forcing employees to authorize me to make deductions from their salaries. This is completely a lie. No forced salary deduction was ever made. In fact, the city government gave each employee a P20,000 bonus, apart from the P2,000 productivity incentive. A copy of the payroll was submitted to the COA, and another one is in my office and it is also available for David’s reference at any reasonable hour of the day.
3. On the juggling and nonaudit of funds. This is a blatant lie. The COA is very strict in checking the disbursement of city funds.
4. On the misuse of USAID’s “Gem Program” funds. This is another total lie. How can I own the sea or seashore where the boat landing was constructed when the sea and seashores are considered part of the public domain under the Regalian Doctrine? Clearly, Vice Mayor Eisma’s accusations are all products of a fertile mind salivating for the position of the city mayor.
For the record, up to this time, the city government of Lamitan is operating under the 2012 city budget because the city council under Vice Mayor Eisma cannot muster a quorum to pass the 2013 budget. It appears that the vice mayor is engrossed in a demolition campaign directed at me.—RODERICK H. FURIGAY, mayor, Lamitan City, Basilan