The residence of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo city on Thursday afternoon was the subject of initial inspection from a team of the National Bureau of Investigation..
Witness to the arrival of the inspection team include Ariel Castañeda, the head of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) of the city government. He acknowledged that the NBI sought permission prior to entering the house premises.
The inspection was supposed to be a discreet ocular inspection for documentation but media was able to get a leak on the information.
Jay Victor E. Mabilog, executive assistant at the Office of the City Mayor and brother of Mayor Mabilog, said he was informed that the NBI initially wanted to inspect the premises including the house interior. He arrived when the agents are already inside the compound.
The agents also took pictures of the contents inside the house, including the compound with parked vehicles.
“Like what the President said there has to be due process and the rule of law will be observed. Based on that we expect courtesy from them. Our house is open as long as they ask permission and there are documents,” the younger Mabilog said.
After the NBI’s inspection, Mabilog said they are expecting other government agencies to also visit the house of the mayor. While expecting the worst scenario, the Mayor continuously ask for prayers, he added.
He also toured members of the local media inside the house to see for themselves the mayor’s residence.
Atty. Mark Piad, spokesperson of the city mayor, said that there is nothing wrong with the conduct of the inspection “if it’s part of their fact-finding investigation.”
“Mayor Mabilog has committed to cooperate with whatever investigation that they are going to do,” he explained.
He added that Mayor Mabilog has nothing to hide after President Rodrigo Duterte has declared that the NBI will conduct a lifestyle check on him.
Piad said they will cooperate with the investigation “within the bounds of the law.”
President Duterte on Wednesday has exaggerated and likened the house of Mabilog as a palace. He must have mouthed the report of one his henchmen. He also ordered a lifestyle check on the mayor who is hot on his personal list of suspected narcopolitician.
The three-storey house, with an area of around 200 square meters in Barangay Tap-oc, Molo, was built in 2013. A view from its terrace at the second floor includes the Iloilo River.
Mayor Mabilog on Wednesday said that his house “while often described as a palace, is not quite a palace.”
“Everybody dreams of building a beautiful home. Marivic and I built one not only for ourselves but for our children. And I had hoped to plant seeds of inspiration among Ilonggos that through hard work, they too like Jed Mabilog, can achieve their dreams,” the mayor said.
His wife Marivic worked as vice president for finance and comptroller of Terracom, Geotechnique, a geodetic engineering firm in Canada, before retiring for good in Iloilo in 2014. (with PNA report/ Perla Lena)