The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has started its investigation of the alleged anomalies involving an official of the Social Housing Finance Corp., a government-owned and controlled corporation under the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
The NBI’s special action unit is looking into the allegation that SHFC president Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling received a P4 million check from an organized community group as payment for a property included in the SHFC’s program.
The property, located in Barangay Ilang in Bunawan District in Davao City, was owned by Cabling’s family. Cabling is also a former village chairman of Barangay Ilang.
SHFC provides housing assistance for organized communities belonging to informal settlers. The SHFC’s primary mandate is to buy home lots for homeless urban poor families.
An NBI insider said the bureau will also look into other land-buying transactions for alleged over-pricing made by Cabling for the socialized housing program of the SHFC, which reportedly has a budget of P4 billion.
Initial investigation, according to the insider who begged anonymity, revealed the modus operandi in the scam: the price of the land would be jacked up and the overprice divided among officers of the homeowners association, the land owner and “an official” of the SHFC.
Cabling, a former Davao City councilor, was appointed president of SHFC by President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2017.
The bureau is also investigating an allegation that Cabling spent P1 million in government funds to pay for two months’ stay at a posh hotel in Makati for his grassroots action team and P2 million for plane tickets for the team from Davao to Manila.
“The project in question is merely a continuation of community-initiated efforts to acquire land, which started more than a decade ago. Initial payment for the other phases of the project was made a long time ago, even before Cabling became president of SHFC,” Lorie Bundoc, SHFC strategic communications division manager.
“The transaction was between the community and the landowners. The landowners did not transact directly with SHFC. Everything went through SHFC’s regular process of loan application,” she added.
She also denied that government funds were used to pay for the hotel stay and plane fare. (with PhilStar report)
THE DAVAO CITY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MANDATORY REPRESENTATION IN THE DAVAO CITY COUNCIL is mandated by City Ordinance No. 0448-10, Series of 2011.
Ordinance No. 0448-10, PROVIDING MANDATORY REPRESENTATION FOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE CITY COUNCIL OF DAVAO, was authored by Councilor Arnolfo Cabling, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Communities and Muslim Affairs. Davao City journalist Roger M. Balanza, publisher and editor of the weekly paper and online news site THE DURIAN POST, Cabling’s private legislative consultant, assisted in the research, conduct of consultations and formulation of committee reports, the ordinance and resolutions.
Balanza documented the process and the installation of the first Mandatory Representative, Datu Berino Mambo-o of the Ata Tribe of Paquibato District , in news reports and a four-color center page of the Durian Post weekly.
LUMAD MANDATORY REPRESENTATIVE
MANDATORY REPRESENTATION FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN DAVAO CITY COUNCILMANDATORY REPRESENTATION FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN DAVAO CITY COUNCIL
Amnesty International, Akbayan Partylist impressed by election of Indigenous peoples mandatory representative in Davao City CouncilAmnesty International, Akbayan Partylist impressed by election of Indigenous peoples mandatory representative in Davao City Council
Saying their rights were not taken into consideration, farmers in Davao City are asking the Davao City Council to take a look-see at the Watershed Protection, Conservation and Management Code for amendments.
City Ordinance 0310-07 also known as the Watershed Code authored by councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, as then chair of the environment committee, was approved by the 14th City Council on February 23, 2007.
The code laid down regulations in about 34,000 hectares of watershed areas which were delineated and classified into conservation areas, agro-forestry non-tillage areas and prime agricultural lands.
At the core of the watershed code is the Third District terrain analysis and study conducted by the City Planning and Development Office and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2005, which is now embedded in the city zoning plan.
Affected by the code are land-owners growing bananas in property classified as conservation areas by the code.
Chua, convenor of the Third District Landowners Association, said some lands were declared as agro-forestry and non-tillage areas and farmers are clueless about their status or regulations that would guide their farming activities.
“Our barangay was declared an agro-forestry non-tillage area and we are at a loss what exactly non-tillage means,” said a farmer from Baracayo, New Daliaon..
While the code has yet to be implemented, Pellicer said farmers are now sleepless over losing their right to farm for survival
“The issue of our rights to the full utilization of our property was not addressed and whether or not the government will purchase our lands for conversion to non-tillage agro-forestry development,” said another farmer.
Chua said Third District farmers were not invited to the Cabling committee hearings. While he acknowledged that the intent was to protect the watershed code which his group supports, Chua said amendments should be introduced to also protect farmers’ right to survival.
By ROGER M. BALANZA