BACOLOD City – “How do you pay something that does not exist?”
This was city councilor Al Victor Espino’s statement dismissing the issues recently raised by a certain “Norma” on Ben Tulfo’s “Bitag Sumbungan ng Bayan” television program.
Last week, Norma sought the assistance of Tulfo after their basketball team FPJ’s Team Promdi, which held a game for a cause with the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) in the city on October 26, allegedly failed to get their payment for the event. She mentioned the names of Espino and some BCPO officials.
According to Espino, the basketball event was not an official event of the city’s MassKara Festival.
“What obligation do we have from them,” said Espino, adding that they already distributed the remaining balance from the game tickets.
“It did not involve Mayor Leonardia, nor was it part of the MassKara highlighted events. I was only involved as one of the sponsors having paid for the venue using my personal private funds,” he said.
Espino added he only assisted the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) as they approached him for assistance being the chairperson on the committee of peace and order, and even in the selling of tickets just to help them raise funds.
Lieutenant Colonel Levy Pangue of the BCPO, for his part, said Espino is under no obligation to pay.
Pangue confirmed the city government had nothing to do with the event nor was it an event of the MassKara Festival, which was underway at the time.
He said the event came about after meeting with Rory Lumba, who proposed holding a basketball event with the BCPO as beneficiary.
Pangue said Lumba proposed to the BCPO to sell the tickets with 30 percent the sale proceeds will go to the implementation of the police department’s projects and programs, along with requesting the local police department to shoulder the costs for accommodations, venue, and meals for guests.
“The BCPO did not even get a 30 percent share from ticket sales because about 50 percent of the tickets were not sold during the event,” Pangue added./PN