• Roxas: Sue my friends if you must

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    Mandaue City, cebu: Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd has dared his critics to charge his mining industry friends in court if they deem them involved in unscrupulous activities.

    Roxas was referring to the claim of Rodney Basiana of Basiana Mining Exploration Corp. that the San Roque Metals, Inc. (SRMI) owned by Roxas’ friends Eric Gutierrez and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice has accumulated millions worth of unpaid taxes and underpaid extraction fees and mining rights, among others.

    Basiana has urged Roxas to police his friends.

    “[They] are accusing me of anything because my opponents don’t have a clear plan for our country. If they did wrong, then sue then sue them in court,” Roxas told reporters in Filipino after a visit in a furniture shop here.

    “It’s that simple. I am not the one who oversees mining activities,” Roxas added.

    Erice, for his part, accused the complainant of extortion for harping everything in the media when the case is pending before the Supreme Court.

    “It’s a private matter that has been resolved by the mining adjudication board, it’s now pending with the Supreme Court and discussing the merits of the case is subjudice. He is using the candidacy of Secretary Mar and our closeness to him as a leverage so he can get money from our firm. It’s a political blackmail,” Erice said in a text message.

    “Going thru media is a futile attempt to use the present political condition to their advantage. It’s in the court. Why go to Sec Mar. What is bad about us? If he is confident of his claim, why go to the media now? We have been fighting him in several courts for the last eight years. Where is his proof that he owns the mining rights? He has bad intentions, not us,” Erice added.

    “Sec. Mar, on his part, has never and will never tolerate any impropriety,” Gutierrez added.

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