GENERAL Santos City Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., belied accusations that he was responsible for the P700,000 unliquidated amount from the P2.5 million expenditures in the Tambayayong Festival held in the United States in 2006.
The Office of the Ombudsman on Jan. 28, 2016 recommended the 60 days preventive suspension against Acharon with the filing of graft charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Four other officials were charged along with Acharon in violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for the anomalous utilization of the P2.5 million funds reportedly spent during the staging of Tambayayong Festival in California, USA in June 2006 when he was the city mayor.
Acharon said the issue on graft and corrupt practices, in which he was not directly involved, has been used against him by his political opponent – Ryan Rivera – who is running under Sen. BongBong Marcos’ political party.
“Actually my political opponent used to fan the issue that two of my daughters have been included in the travel and part of the travel expenses is part of the P 2.5 million fund. But I spent my own money for my daughters and not from the budget that they were implicating me with,” Acharon said.
He said that the disbursement of funds for the US travel for Tambayayong Festival was minis-terial by nature and if someone should answer for the unliquidated funds it is the incumbent vice mayor Shirlyn Bañas.
“Vice Mayor Bañas can justify the truth of the matter,” Acharon added.
Acharon is currently serving his second term, and is seeking reelection.