LEGAZPI CITY – In 1987, Edcel Lagman had no house as his own and had lived with his in-laws in Tabaco City.
That year in 1987, Lagman ran for Congressman for the first time, and he won. Since that time, good fortune and “blessings of wealth” has always been in his side.
This is what most Albayanos think of Lagman, but Bishop Hernando Burce looks at Congressman Lagman in a different level, the “wealth is the fruit of plunder”.
For Bishop Burce, the lawmaker has accumulated P240 million in year 2007-2010 as First District Congressman of Albay, this was found out by the Commission on Audit.
On top of this, Lagman allegedly “owned a $30-million mansion in the United States, a P50-million house in Tagaytay City, a mansion in Legazpi City, a printing press in Quezon City, a first class hotel in Albay worth P500 million, construction companies, and commercial lands in Albay”.
Bishop Burce has filed a graft case against Lagman before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), but just recently, he elevated the graft complaint to plunder after the Bishop unearthed more alleged anomalies.
Last April 22, Bishop Burce filed graft and corruption charges against Lagman before the Ombudsman for alleged malversation of Lagman’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to more than P200 million.
Bishop Burce is a member of the Alliance of Chaplains of the Philippines.
In a submitted 4-page supplemental affidavit, Bishop Burce asked the anti-graft body to conduct an extensive lifestyle check on Lagman, whom he claimed, acquired properties in the United States, including here, way beyond the plunder threshold of P50 million.
He included in the complaint Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro, who is Lagman’s daughter.
“I am therefore charging the respondent Rep. Edcel Lagman in cahoots with his daughter Krisel Lagman-Luistro for the crime of plunder which they committed during his term as congressman for the first district of Albay covering the period 2007-2010 who, per report of the Commission on Audit attached to the main complaint, they accumulated more than P240 million,” Bishop Burce attested in his complaint.