By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Former La Castellana Mayor Alberto A. Nicor, Jr. yesterday said the graft charges filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan Third Division are driven by politics, claiming “political enemies,” whom he did not name, were trying to keep him from seeking a third term when he was serving as mayor.
The former mayor, and father of incumbent La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, faces three charges of graft in relation to the issuance of permits to himself and his wife back in 2013.
Nicor-Mangilimutan noted, the said “enemies” have filed a total seven graft cases against her father and all but this particular case have been dismissed.
She went on to call the matter “petty.”
Assistant Special Prosecutor III Jorge B. Espinal, who filed the charges against the former mayor, claimed Nicor “took advantage of his position” through the issuance of a permit that allowed his wife, Noeme Nicor, to operate a hollow blocks business.
The former mayor responded by claiming, “I did it in good faith;” characterizing his actions as “giving my share for the local revenues of the town.”
He added, their businesses did not conduct any business with the municipal government.
Espinal earlier pointed out, Nicor’s actions intervened with his official capacity as mayor, explaining, since he had “direct financial or pecuniary interest” in the business, the permit issuance was deemed “detrimental to public interest.”
He went on to say the former mayor took a similar route when he granted himself and a business partner permits to run a trucking business.
Nicor has since posted P90,000 bail, P30,000 for each count./DGB, WDJ