VICE Gov. Jose Mari Pelaez yesterday cried foul over the provincial board’s move to strip him of his authority to “augment funds” of the province’s legislative department.
The authority is basically the provincial board’s green light for Pelaez to juggle funds. Without the authority, Pelaez would be susceptible to graft charges.
Pelaez called the move a form of “political persecution” that was approved by the provincial board while he was away.
The vice governor was absent during the provincial board’s session.
Pelaez said the removal of his authority was “unfair and baseless” even as he pointed to provincial board member President Elipe as the brains behind the move.
“Nganong ako raman ang ilang kuha-an sa authority to augment funds? Nganong wala man nila kuha-a ang iya ni Gov. (Yevgeny Vincente) Bambi Emano?” he asked rhetorically.
He said like Emano, he had been authorized to use funds set aside for certain items in the approved budget for matters of pressing concern. Example, if the budget for fuel was already insufficient, the authority allowed him to augment it with funds originally intended for travel expenses.
Pelaez said he was marked because he has joined the National Unity Party of gubernatorial candidate Julio Uy, and is seeking the congressional post in the 1st District.
He said his brother Jeremy, a provincial board member, is the NUP’s candidate for vice governor against Elipe of the Padayon Pilipino.
The younger Pelaez said it was provincial board member Erik Khu who moved to remove his brother’s authority to augment funds. He alleged that Elipe served as the “director.”
Those who voted for Khu’s motion were provincial board members Gerardo Sabal, Wayne Militante, Virgilia Dumadag, Sherwin Soldevilla, Nancy Madjos, Elipe and Khu. (Nitz Arancon)