Saturday, 19th April 2014

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By: Florence F. Hibionada

POLITICAL rivals in the island province of Guimaras have officially drawn the line between two warring brothers.

Guimaras lone district Rep. JC Rahman Nava fired the first shot at his brother Governor Felipe Hilan Nava by raising alleged corruption in the latter’s administration.
Rahman, who will seek reelection under Liberal Party, met reporters yesterday and presented his entire slate headed by Buenavista town Mayor Samuel Gumarin for governor and Board Member Vicente De Asis for vice-governor

The LP bets for the provincial board are Buenavista town Councilors Cyril Beltran, Rex Fernandez, Carlito Gaitan and Dan Elby Habana for the 1st district; and lawyer John Eduard Gando, former broadcaster and Board Member David Gano, former Nueva Valencia Mayor Diosdado Gonzaga and Board Member Josephine De La Cruz for the 2nd district.

Rahman said he has the support of four town mayors, leaving Felipe with Nueva Valencia Mayor Juan Gaitan.

The reasons for the rift between the brothers are years of unresolved party concerns and alleged irregularities in Felipe’s reign.

“There is perceived corruption and here are many things that need to be corrected but upon discussions did not materialized,” Rahman said.

The congressman said his difference with Felipe has affected personal relations within the family.

Rahman said the issues he raised go beyond family relations as these affect public welfare. He cited one alleged irregular transaction of his brother involving a project for a school named after their late father, Dr. Catalino Nava.

He said teachers and parents were complaining about the multi-million speech laboratory.

I saw it personally.  I myself checked it. With P1.8 million in funds for the equipment and P1.5 million for the building, it was just a regular room with a CR (comfort room),” he said.

Rahman said he saw how a headset passed off as branded was actually bought from a local store, CDR-King.

“I told him about it because I was thinking his people might have done it and that he had nothing to do with it but nothing happened,” he said.

Other alleged irregularities blamed on the governor and his men included some P7 million in alleged cash advances that were not duly liquidated.

De Asis claimed that Felipe was using the capitol as his “personal automated teller machine.”

“His travels with his wife are charged to the Capitol and the job orders included maids, yayas and kusineros,” De Asis said.

The governor and his slate under the United Nationalist Alliance also filed their COCs right after LP left the Commission on Elections Office.

In an interview with ABS-CBN-Iloilo, Felipe refused to dignify his brother’s allegations saying he will wage an intellectual and issue-based campaign.

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