MANILA (Updated) — The campaign battle has shifted to the spokespersons as United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General Toby Tiangco on Saturday scored Liberal Party (LP) member Miro Quimbo over his alleged involvement into a P7-billion housing loan scandal.
Tiangco is also a spokesperson for UNA, a coalition of the political parties led by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada; while Quimbo was designated as spokesperson of the LP-led Team PNoy.
Tiangco and Quimbo are also colleagues in the House of Representatives, Tiangco being a Navotas congressman and Quimbo in Marikina.
In a press statement, Tiangco said the ruling LP is trying to smokescreen the misdeeds of its members who used to be strongly identified with the Arroyo administration.
Tiangco cited Quimbo’s alleged role in the Globe Asiatique scam of Delfin Lee which was committed during his watch at Pag-IBIG.
Quimbo was appointed by former President-turned-Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Pag-IBIG Fund’s president and chief executive officer in 2002.
“What is LP’s stand on the responsibility of Quimbo on the P7-billion loan housing loan scandal and the party’s stand on anti-corruption? Quimbo cannot excuse himself from the Delfin Lee scam that caused the government billions of pesos and victimized hapless families,” Tiangco said.
He added that LP should review its brand messaging, because there is an obvious mismatch between the message and the messenger. “The issue is corruption. Speak out on your stand,” he said.
Tiangco stressed that if the Aquino administration is serious in its anti-corruption efforts, then there should be no “sacred cows.”
“What has happened to the DOJ recommendation to the Ombudsman to file charges against Quimbo and other former Pag-IBIG officials? How does LP plan to help the victims? Does Quimbo now enjoy yellow immunity? Is this the righteous path?” he said.
The Navotas lawmaker said Quimbo must stop portraying himself as “self-righteous and an anti-corruption advocate.”
Quimbo, for his part, said Tiangco’s accusations are “rehashed political smear propaganda” that was already used by his political opponents, and has no legal basis.
“If he simply checks the dates of these fraudulent loans, it will reveal that they happened after 15 March of 2009, the day I was replaced as CEO. It did not happen during my watch,” Quimbo said.
Quimbo said Tiangco should raise the discussion and debate on platforms and not character assassination plots.
“I urge him to follow what he preaches. He keeps asking Team PNoy to stop the supposed mudslinging yet in the same breath he does these tirades against personalities who are not even candidates. Let’s stick to platforms and programs. Lay down what your alternative programs are in eradicating poverty and joblessness. The country deserves to hear that,” the Marikina lawmaker said.
Quimbo himself stressed that “no one is above the law” citing the case of fellow LP member former Bukidnon Representative Neric Acosta.
“We must all face any accountability process. That’s part of being a public official,” he said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)