Complainant Hernando Bruce (left0 and Albay representative Edcel Lagman (right).
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — A supplemental complaint was filed today at the Office of the Ombudsman urging the anti-graft agency to conduct a lifestyle check on incoming Albay representative Edcel Lagman.
Private complainant, Hernando Bruce, is asking the court to look into the alleged illegal wealth of Lagman amounting to 240 million.
Bruce says the Commission on Audit (COA) report indicates Lagman amassed unlawful riches through diversion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2007-2009.
He says Lagman used his PDAF to fund projects by private entities related to his family.
These projects were done outside his district in Albay.
“His PDAF was diverted to other districts. He diverted them not to government projects, but to private organizations,” Bruce said. “He gave budget upon the request of his daughter who is the mayor.”
Attached in the complaint are pictures of Lagman’s alleged questionable properties including a first-class hotel, a gravel and sand rock crusher plant, a mansion and others.
To hide these properties, Bruce said some are hidden under dummy corporations of Lagman.
Bruce once helped in Lagman’s campaign when he first ran as Albay congressman in 1987.
With him during the filing of the complaint is Atty. Antonio Betito, Lagman’s losing opponent during the recent election.
Bruce and Betitio denied that the complaint is election-related.
For his part, Cong. Edcel Lagman maintains that the complaint is politically-motivated and it just stems from his failure to appoint the complainant to a position after the elections. He also denies having millions of illegal wealth.
“I have filed my assets, liabilities and net worth regularly and I have no hidden properties. They say I have a mansion, a hotel. I dont have any mansion or hotel. That is completely uncalled for, completely fabricated.”
Lagman also clarifies that those projects he funded outside his district did not come from his own PDAF but from the leadership fund of Congress.
Lagman says he is ready to file a counter affidavit once the Ombudsman formally asks for his statements.
(JOYCE BALANCIO/UNTV NEWS)