By Jun Ramirez
Parañaque Mayor Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez and 13 other ranking city officials are now facing plunder and graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged roles in granting questionable tax discounts to private firms last year that has caused the city government to lose more than P453 million in revenue.
Those named respondents to the 16-page anonymous criminal complaint filed by “concerned citizens” include Vice Mayor Jose Enrico T. Golez; Councilors Rufino M. Allanigue, John Ryan G. Yllana, Merlie S. Antipuesto, Vincent Kenneth M. Favis, Florencia N. Amurao, Brillante V. Inciong, Roselle Nava-Tan, Joan Villafuerte, Maritess B. De Asis, and Jacqueline Bustamante-Mendoza; City Legal Officer Rommel A. Frias; and City Treasurer Anthony L. Pulmano.
Also implicated were private corporations D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc., Wendel Holdings Co. Inc., Fabricom Manufacturing Corporation, and Aseana Holdings Inc. as owners of several parcels of land along Roxas Boulevard in Barangay Tambo, Paranaque City to whom the huge tax discounts were allegedly given.
The complaint filed on April 15, 2015 said the firms, collectively referred to as the Wenceslao Group, is headed by one Delfin Wenceslao.
Allegedly, the companies paid the right taxes in 1995 until 1997 based on City Ordinance No. 96-13, but eventually paid the same under protest in 1998 claiming an error in tax assessment which they claimed should be lowered from P12,000 to P6,000 per square meter.