QUEZON CITY – Quezon City Mayor-elect Josefina Belmonte has unmasked a P10-million bribe in a bid to secure a building permit.
“A well-known businessman called me earlier today. He was asked to give a 10M bribe at the Office of the Building Official in exchange for a building permit,” Belmonte said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“Having heard of my reputation as a good governance advocate, he called me to ask for some advice. I told him I would accompany him,” she added.
Belmonte did not disclose the name of the businessman and the city hall official who sought a bribe.
“Now I know why the majority of City Hall officials did not support me in the last elections,” Belmonte said.
The outgoing vice mayor reiterated that corrupt practices won’t make the city become like Singapore.
“Now I also know why we will never be like Singapore, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that all we need are a couple of fancy buildings, a 1.2B auditorium and an overpriced parking building,” Belmonte said.
“It’s the system, stupid!,” she said, citing a comment from an unidentified source.
In a previous Facebook post, Belmonte revealed that incumbent Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista have withdrawn his support at the last-minute before the May 13 midterm elections.
But she expressed her gratitude to her predecessor for making Quezon City the only local government unit that transitions in “such an authentic and intense manner.”
“I’d still like to thank Mayor Herbert Bautista however, because at the end of the day, even after having withdrawn support for me in favor of my opponent, he still allowed his department heads to respect the mandate given to me by the people and to cooperate with me wholeheartedly,” she said.
Belmonte noted she recognized the work that needs to be done from an informed perspective even though she had not been a part of the Bautista administration for several years.