• Govt men in graft rap over sequestered firm

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    Several government officials are facing a graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman over a sequestered property put up for sale this April.

    Richard Singson of Blemp Commercial of the Philippines Inc. filed the 14-page complaint on Wednesday.

    Named respondents were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, National Economicand Development Authority Vice Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Treasurer Rosalinda de Leon.

    Also included were Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chief Andres Bautista and Commissioners Richard Roger Amurao, Ma. Ngina Teresa Chan-Gonzaga and Vicente Gengos Jr; Finance aide Ma. Lourdes Recente, Undersecretaries John Phillip Sevilla, Jeremias Paul Jr. and Jose Emmanuel Reverente and Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan; and Karen Singson, chief privatization officer of the Privatization and Management Office.

    Singson, whose lawyer said he is related to former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson,
    alleged that the Privatization Council told the PCGG to “offer for sale” a real estate property (a 160,000 sq.m piece of land in Pasig City in Metro Manila), which he asserted is owned by Blemp.

    “The concerted acts of the respondents are patently illegal and criminal, because they have no legal personality nor authority to sell the property lawfully owned by complainant Blemp Commercial of the Philippines,” he alleged.

    Absolute ownership of the property was established when the firm bought it from Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation in 1971.

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