Mayor Olivarez of Paranaque is Innocent Until Proven Otherwise!

Have you ever been accused of something that you did not do? This is currently the case of Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Recently the beloved mayor of Paranaque received allegations from retired barangay official Jonatan Bernardo. The later has accused the Mayor of graft and corruption charges. 

According to Mr. Bernardo and several member of the City Council of Paranaque, Mayor Olivarez had allegedly given favor to a huge firm operating in Paranaque.

Further claims state that Mayor Olivarez gave a P453,000,000 tax credit discount to the DM Wenceslao Group of Companies.

The DM Wenceslas Group of Companies is the business behind the construction of buildings on the prime lots of Aseana.

Mr. Bernardo further insists that the land in Aseana is worth P12,000 per square meter. But the mayor allegedly granted a tax amnesty to the said company that lowered the offered price of land to P6,000 per square meter.

Mr. Bernardo also  explained that the Wenceslao Group of Companies should not have been granted with a tax amnesty since it has a pending case before the city hall.

Bernardo also noted that the city hall should have released an ordinance stating it would grant tax credit to the company, which he claims, Mayor Olivarez and his council failed to do.

“It is the only company that was given favor. The rest are given the assessment of P12,000 per square meters. Why is that it is the only one given a discount? It is clear that the city hall is giving favors,” said Bernardo.

On regards to the case filed against him:

The Mayor of Paranaque answered the inquiries one by one.

Olivarez said he is leaving everything to the wisdom of the ombudsman regarding the charges filed against him

“We submit to the wisdom of the honorable Ombudsman on this case,” Olivarez said 

Mayor Olivarez further added that the ParaƱaque City officials named in the case strongly believe that the charges will be dismissed knowing that they have done nothing disadvantageous to the local government.

“We would just like to inform the public that no less than the Honorable Supreme Court approved the compromised agreement by the parties,”

Wenceslao Group of Companies Legal Counsel Speaks Up:

This was further strenghtened by the words of the legal counsel of the Wenceslao Group of companies, Paul Quinto:  

"ParaƱaque City has in fact benefited from the compromise agreement with the Wenceslao Group" — a company Quinto claims is consistently lauded as one of the city's largest taxpayers.

"In so far as the compromise agreement between  Paranaque City and the Wenceslao Group, it was the City who benefited from the same as we overpaid around 390 million pesos in real property taxes," Quinto was quoted saying
"The same compromise agreement was approved by the City Council and was even approved in 2014 by no less than the Supreme Court itself which ordered the parties to strictly comply with the said agreement," he added.
Quinto also said that the company will respond to the complaint as soon as their company receives it to ensure that the firm's reputation is protected "against any baseless and malicious statements."
The Paper Trail:

We were able to procure two documents that is supporting the claim of both Mayor Olivarez and the Wenceslao Group of Companies.

The First Document was a Resolution from the Supreme Court stating that indeed it has granted authority to the Mayor to a compromise agreement with the Wenceslao Group of Companies.

The Second Document is a Petition from the Court of Appeals that documented the statements of Paul Quinto stating that indeed: 

"In so far as the compromise agreement between  Paranaque City and the Wenceslao Group, it was the City who benefited from the same as we overpaid around 390 million pesos in real property taxes,"

What Will Happen Now?

If we base our observation on the documents above it can be stated that both Mayor Olivaroz and Paul Quinto were telling the truth. This was a problem even before the time of Mayor Olivarez and he was able to resolve the situation via compromise agreement. 

It can also be observed that the case is already finished and has gone through the proper channels. 

Nothing was out of the extraordinary since everything went to higher authorities than the ones being involved. Namely the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Furthermore the complainant Jonatan Bernardo needs to provide further documentation of his claims. 

"As far as I can see, until now they are friends and patrons of the mayor. I could not say directly, but as of now I don't have that document. But it's an open secret that they are patrons of the mayor," - Jonathan Bernardo

In closing, I would have to say that unless proven otherwise both the Mayor of Paranaque and The Wenceslao Group of Companies are not guilty of anything. 

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