Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has asked the city council to declare former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada as a “persona non grata” for saying the city has become a “nest of corruption” because it was where the allegedly overpriced Iloilo Convention Center was built.
In a radio interview, Mabilog said he is hurt by Mejorada’s statement, which he said before the Senate blue ribbon committee during its investigation of the purported anomalies surrounding ICC last week. The construction project is located in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
“I hope the people of Iloilo City, the Sanguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Panlalawigan will react on how false it is to tag Iloilo as the bird’s best of corruption,” Mabilog said.
During the Senate hearing, Mejorada remarked those behind the corruption in Iloilo City manage to “enjoy the mantle of protection from the third highest official of the land.” He has filed graft charges against Senate President Franklin Drilon and two other Cabinet officials in connection with the alleged overpricing of the ICC.
Aside from declaring the former Iloilo official a “persona non grata,” Mabilog said he has also talked to Iloilo City Legal Officer Daniel Dinopol on the possible legal actions that can be taken against Mejorada for putting Iloilo City and Iloilo in a bad light.
But while Mabilog is bent on ostracizing Drilon’s accuser, the Iloilo provincial board said it has no plans to follow the actions of the Iloilo city government.
Jun Mondejar, majority floor leader of the board, said they believed Mejorada’s statement only concerns Iloilo City, and does not represent the leadership of the entire province.