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PH Senator Drilon Deplores Continued Smear on Senator Legarda

Senator Franklin M. Drilon, Team PNoy campaign manager, deplored today the continuing efforts to smear the reputation of Sen. Loren Legarda through black propaganda despite the conclusion of the 2013 midterm elections.

“I am saddened and appalled by the continuing efforts to discredit Sen. Loren Legarda through the use of black propaganda on matters related to the entries of her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), even after the elections are over,” said Drilon, who was the campaign manager of the Team PNoy senatorial slate where Legarda belonged.

“I hope we can move forward now and put the political hostilities of the campaign period behind us.” Drilon added. “The Filipino people have spoken. We must now work together in pushing for the legislative reform agenda of President Aquino. There is a lot of work to be done to improve the lives of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized.”

Drilon was apparently referring to the second graft case filed against Legarda last Monday before the Office of the Ombudsman by a self-proclaimed public interest advocate who said the senator allegedly used a shell company to hide her ownership of a multimillion-peso mansion in Forbes Park, the swank village in Makati City.

In the complaint for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Louis “Barok” Biraogo accused Legarda of not declaring the mansion in her statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) from 2007 to 2011.

According to Biraogo, the Forbes property is owned by Loren Legarda and Associates Inc. (LLAI), a public relations firm that has “no employees, no operations, no business activities and no transactions” since its establishment by the senator in 1986. He said Legarda identified the Forbes mansion at No. 40 Cambridge Circle as her residence in the invitations she sent in hosting a dinner for East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta in 2009.

In a statement, Drilon echoed the statement of Legarda that the second graft case filed against her was another case of “black propaganda.” Legarda denied the graft raps and insisted that the Forbes property, owned by Loren Legarda and Associates, was reported in her SALN.

“That Senator Legarda reported her ownership of shares in the Loren Legarda and Associates Inc, which it turned out is the owner of the Forbes Mansion, is a valid way of reporting one’s assets in the SALN,” said Drilon.

“Having known Sen. Legarda as an outstanding and dedicated public servant, I am certain she can validly explain her assets and liabilities in the face of this continued barrage of black propaganda against her,” Drilon said.