GONZAGA SLAMS ‘DEFECTIVE’ PRESIDENT DUTERTE LOW-COST HOUSING FOR TYPHOON PABLO VICTIMS IN DAVAO DE ORO

HOUSES ALLEGEDLY CONSTRUCTED USING RICE HULLS

By ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao de Oro 2nd District Rep. Peter Ruwel Gonzaga said low cost housing units built by government for victims in Davao de Oro of Supertyphoon Pablo were defective and constructed using rice hulls.

Go to Maparat and you will find out that rice hulls were used in the construction of the houses, said Gonzaga in a recent interview with an FM radio station based in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Maparat is a barangay in Compostela municipality, among areas hit worse by the supertyphoon that devastated the Davao Region in December 2012.

In a news report in 2014 two years after Pablo, the NHA said that in Davao de Oro, it built 2,967 units spread in the towns of New Bataan (Barangays San Roque, 1,214 and Andap, 50), Monkayo (Union, 225 and Lower Ulip, 443), Brgy. New Visayas in Montevista (335), Brgy. Maparat, Compostela (300) and Brgy. Kidawa, Laak (400).

In the aftermath of the disaster that killed hundreds and displaced thousands of families in Davao de Oro, the worst hit province, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the release of funds for contruction of houses for families who lost their homes in Pablo’s fury.

In the radio program, Gonzaga cited massive corruption in construction of the low-cost housing and accused Davao de Oro Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy as having benefitted from the alleged anomaly.

But Gonzaga is barking at the wrong tree for blaming Chiongkee, then the sitting governor when Pablo struck, as the houses were constructed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and not by the Davao de Oro local government.

Chiongkee has dismissed the allegation against him as pure lies and has dared Gonzaga to raise the issue to the NHA, the Commission on Audit (COA) or the court.

While his guns are trained at Chiongkee, Gonzaga’s attack on the government project is apparently ipolitiically-motivated aimed at the administration of President Duterte . Gonzaga is aligned with the opposition party Partido Reporma (Reporma) of former House Speaker Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, former Duterte ally turned critic.

After initially supporting the ticket of Senator Panfilo Lacson for president and SenatorTito Sotto for vice president in the 2022 election, Alvarez and Reporma have shited support to the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan against the UniTeam of former Senator Bongbong Marcos, for president. and for vice president, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of President Duterte.

To backstop her vice presidential bid, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party founded by Mayor Sara, is playing an active role in the Davao de Oro politics and has fielded a full slate headed by incumbent governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, son of Chiongkee, who is sliding down to an unopposed run for vice goernor.

The May 9 election in Davao de Oro is a battle between Inday Sara’s HNP and Alvarez’s Reporma: Gonzaga has fielded his politically neophyte wife, former Court of Appeals associate justice Dorothy Gonzaga (Reporma), for governor against comebacking former governor Chiongkee (HNP).

In the Second District, Gonzaga {Reporma) is gunning for his third and last term against former governor Jose Caballero {HNP); in the First District, Maricar Zamora (HNP), incumbent vice goverrnor and former representative, is up against Reporma’s Monkayo vice mayor Joanna Gentugaya.

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