Mercado Denies Involvement In PDAP Scam
By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.
Maasin City, Southern Leyte-Former third termer Congressman Roger G. Mercado, now the incumbent Governor of this province has strongly denied his alleged involvement in the PDAF (Priority Development Allocation Fund) scam as reported by Manila Standard on its April 7,2014 issue.
The said report listed some Congressmen of their alleged involvement in the PDAF anomalies that were coursed thru NABCOR (National Agri-Business,Corporation,Inc.)as its source of funds for their projects.
One of the names involved in the list of PDAF scam included that of the former SL Congressman’s fund as also being endorsed to NABCOR.
Mercado claimed that since 2007 up to his last term,he did not remember making such kind of endorsement of coursing part of his PDAF to NABCOR.
As a support of his strong denial, he quoted a Congress official’s statement, sayng his(Mercado’s) name “is not in the list of Congressmen who were involved in PDAF scam”.
He admitted, however, that there were many people who came to the House of Representatives to ask for his endorsement, but not in appropriating some portion of his allocation to NABCOR.
A former Columnist of a Maasin-based weekly, The Reporter(now defunct),Rafael Gerong,Jr. who also teaches at Saint Joseph College here, and now a newly-elected City Councilor, told the incumbent Governor that the statement of the whistleblower Rodora Mendoza was different from that of the Manila Standard’s report. He did not elaborate.
Mercado further said that if such accusation involving him of PDAF scam is true, he will voluntarily resign as the current Governor of Southern Leyte.”However, this is not the true case”, he said.
A media practitioner also suggested to Mercado to ask the support of the City Government by passing a resolution at the City Council, expressing their full support of his innocence to the accusation.
Nevertheless, Vice-Mayor Effie Abiera-Sabandal elucidated that such measure is not necessary at this moment. But instead, focuses on important things to be done that need more attention. “We will just wait for the notice and not to overact on the report”.
For his part, Governor Mercado told those who were present during the meeting at his office that despite of the unpleasant report “he is in high spirit” in going to the constituents of the province to prove his innocence and that he will instead focus in the implementation of his programs and projects.
Moreover, another concerned individual likewise suggested to the Governor to send “a letter-to-the-Editor” to Manila Standard to express his side of the controversial issue, thus denying his alleged involvement of the shameful PDAF scam.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)