Celso defends Erbie on PDAF use issue PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 September 2013 14:42

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat has defended former District 2 Congressman Erbie Fabian over suspicions that the latter misused part of his priority development assistance funds (PDAF), after a national broadsheet published in its front page this week, one of Fabian’s unfinished bridge project in Barangay Putik, costing millions of pesos.
Lobregat, who was the mayor when Fabian’s controversial bridge project at Sitio Santo Niño, Putik, was implemented, said the unfinished state of the project was brought about by the area’s problem on right-of-way.
“What I know is that, the river unknowingly changed its course and accidentally ate part of a private property where the bridge was constructed, prompting owners of said affected property to resort to legal actions,” Lobregat explained in an interview with RPN’s ‘Zamboanga, Tiempo Ya!’ radio program Friday.
The project, which the report claimed to have been abandoned, cost around P4 million.
Lobregat said Fabian’s predicament is not unique after all, “because similar situations also happened during my time as mayor, in the case of some schools that the city constructed, in supposedly, donated properties”.
“Heirs of the donors, would always come-out then, and demand remunerations for the properties where these schools are, insisting that donations of these lots were only done verbally by their forefathers”.
At the same time, Lobregat shielded Fabian from insinuations, that he misappropriated his PDAF, when he allocated about P2-million funds, to help upgrade the golf course in Barangay Calarian.
Lobregat believes that there’s nothing wrong with what the former district 2 lawmaker did, “because Calarian golf course is a government property, apart from its being the oldest and only golf course in Western Mindanao”.
“Had it not for the scam involving now detained Janet Lim-Napoles, issues like Fabian’s projects would not be a big deal, to insinuate on,” Lobregat added.
The former three-term mayor, now congressman explained, “pouring in funds for the development of that golf course is reasonable, because there is no other golf course in Erbie’s district, otherwise, we would have questioned him, why he used his PDAF for District 1, when his own district has a golf course to attend to”.
Lobregat said, “besides, no less than the management of Calarian golf course admitted how Fabian’s projects were appreciated by local as well as, domestic and foreign tourists playing in the area”.
“It is also like the case of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), which is situated in District 1, where students from as far as the three Zamboanga provinces, including those of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi are enrolled. Even WMSU president, Dr. Milabel Ho, welcomes help for her university, from congressmen of these provinces, therefore, it is not bad for other solons putting in funds on institutions outside of their districts”, Lobregat said.
As vice chairman of house committees on appropriations and energy, Lobregat also hinted about his request during his recent meetings with  officials of energy department, to include in its priorities, the energization of still unenergized sitios in District 2, “an act which made my counterpart, 2nd district Congresswoman Lilia Macrohon-Nuño, happy and very thankful”.
Lobregat and Fabian, along with now sitting mayor, Beng Climaco, were political allies for more than a decade, until Fabian decided to break ranks to run for mayor against Climaco last May 13. He however, lost to the former District 1 lady representative. — Philip Abuy