The director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the Ilocos region has been accused of grave misconduct and graft for allegedly throwing more than a million pesos in cash to guests at his birthday party.
The complaint against DPWH Region I Director Ronnel Tan before the Office of the Ombudsman was filed by Councilor Arkie Manuel Yulde of Lopez, Quezon province.
In his affidavit, Yulde said two mayors witnessed Tan indulging in an ostentatious display of wealth when he took out a box filled with cash and shouted to his guests, “Pag-agawan ninyo itong pera,” then threw the cash into the air so that people would jostle to get as much money as they could pick up. Some guests got P100,000 while others picked up P200,000, Yulde said, quoting the mayors.
“Such[an] ostentatious display of wealth by [the] respondent is surely a grave misconduct committed by a public official,” the complaint read.
Yulde also said Tan, the husband of Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, has a 600-square meter house in an upscale village in Quezon City, where a square meter costs P75,000.
He also accused Tan of warning barangay officials not to attend meetings called by Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez.
“He is supposedly a government official and he cannot engage in partisan political activity,” Yulde’s lawyer Freddy Villamor said.
Interviewed over GMA News Online, Tan denied Yulde’s allegations, saying the filing of the complaint is politically motivated.
“No such thing happened,” Tan said in Filipino, adding that he celebrated his birthdays in his house in Metro Manila. “That is such a big amount—that’s wrong. This is just because of local politics,” he said.