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Ajinomoto deal

By Ben Contreras

REACTING to a column, radio commentator Ronnie Waniwan sent these text messages:

“I have read your column about Bañez. He was sent here by Belmonte to help collect taxes? Was he trying to impress that Belmonte is giving him additional salaries to augment his salary in CDO which is 20K plus? Hehehe. Buang ra mutoo ana.”

“Moreno didn’t hire him? Who is paying his salary, Belmonte or CDO tax payers?”

Bañez asked for a meeting, and who am I not to oblige? Bañez was not trying to impress us that Speaker Feliciano Belmonte is augmenting his CDO salary. Bañez doesn’t have to. Belmonte doesn’t have to. There are more than enough apples in the city government for their picking and chances are, nobody would ever get punished. Ronnie is right though––“buang ra mutoo ana.”

Earlier that day, former Taglimao barangay chairman William Guialani went to my house to give a document, and to refute the claim that Bañez didn’t enter into an agreement with Ajinomoto.

Marked “Annex A” is a photocopy of a Joint Motion to Dismiss on Civil Case No. 2014-093 under the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental.

Representing the petitioner (Ajinomoto) was Cabrera and Co. with Atty. Jocelyn T. Tsang, and for the City Legal Office were Atty. Donald Delegencia and Atty. Reymond Villablanca.

Ajinomoto filed a Petition for Review, seeking relief on the local business tax (LBT) assessment for the years 2006 to 2012 in the amount of P2,924,428.34.

“Annex B” is a Settlement Agreement with Waiver, Release and Quitclaim signed by Atty. Tsang for the petitioner and city treasurer Bañez for the respondent. The agreement reduced the amount to P300 thousand.

“Annex C-1” is a photocopy of the payment with receipt number CDO 2629930 dated Aug. 14, 2014.

If Mr. Bañez would like to respond to this, my e-mail address is


The story of Facy Melody Bucol who was in search of her biological father had been featured here thrice. With the help of some people and government agencies, we were able to locate her father. They finally met and the rest is history.

While repeating her story to a small group of people, one volunteered to share his.

Some two decades ago, he met a lady who was looking for legal assistance. His kindness turned into a brief romance. Unknown to him, their only encounter resulted in pregnancy.

The woman left for the United States of America where the child was born. At 19, the son is eagerly in search of his father. Nothing has been kept secret to the child as to how it happened and the name of his father.

The child wanted to come to the Philippines to meet his father but feared that he might only be disowned. Instead, the mother came home and the two met. She showed him a photo of his son, looking a lot like his father but much taller.

He agreed to meet his son. But when the mother went back to the US, nothing is ever heard of her or them. I guess, not yet.

Things like this happens every now and then. Some can be brave enough to face it. Some may not be that brave. But for every happy ending, there would also be the pain of being separated again.


About Ben Contreras

Ben Contreras has been writing a column for The Gold Star Daily since the 90s.

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