Mayoral candidates Councilor Emmarie Quano-Dizon and Rep. Luigi Quisumbing of Cebu’s sixth district defended themselves yesterday from charges filed against them three hours apart by private citizens at the Ombudsman-Visayas last Wednesday.
In a press conference at a fastfood restaurant in Mandaue City, Dizon’s lawyer Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu clarified that the property sold to Foton Motors Philippines Inc. in 2012 belonged to the councilor’s husband Nixon Ting Dizon.
Two Mandaue City residents filed a complaint against Dizon for allegedly not including the proceeds from the sale of a parcel of land worth P20 million in her Statement of Assets, Liablities and Net Worth (SALN).
Lastimosa-Dalawampu said the councilor’s husband acquired the property in December 1992 from Mandaue Realty Resources Corp. (MaRReCo).
“He had yet to marry the councilor then,” Dalawampu said.
When the two got married in August 1994, the property was brought in to their marriage but Lastimosa-Dalawampu said the councilor still had no say on the property.
“There’s a law that states that whatever property one owns when he or she is single is brought into the marriage. It is required in the law but that doesn’t mean that the spouse has any say over the property,” she said.
She said Dizon was just being honest when she declared the property in her SALN in 2011 a year after she was elected in office.
Dalawampu said Dizon didn’t include the sale of the property in her 2012 SALN because it was owned by her husband.
“Her husband is not connected to any government office. He is not holding any public position,” she said.
Dalawampu claimed that the case filed against her client is politically motivated.
The same claim was made by Quisumbing’s lawyer Elaine Bathan in a separate press conference.
She said the case filed against the congressman is baseless and “doubtful in its motive.”
The congressman stands accused of allegedly using his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to purchase multicabs from Porta Coeli Industrial Co. Inc. that his family owned.
“It is common knowledge in Mandaue City that if an issue hits close to home for the Ouanos, a case always follows,” she said.
Bathan, one of the lawyers for Porta Coeli, said contrary to accusations by complainant Roberto Letaba, the procurement of the multicabs was done through public bidding.
She said they received an invitation to bid from the provincial government for the procurement of the multicabs. “We underwent the legal process, everything is documented,” Bathan said.
Bathan said Porta Coeli joined several biddings and engaged in other transactions with the provincial government during the tenure of former Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.