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Intense War between Dan Lim and Dela Serna
« on: February 12, 2008, 11:12:09 PM »
By Bohol Sunday Post

Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim yesterday detonated the verbal equivalent of an atomic bomb against bosom friend lawyer Victor de la Serna.

The dropping of the Lim bombshell ended weeks of bated anticipated after de la Serna tipped off this paper's BGlante about the city mayor's unexplained use of his discretionary funds.

This paper's BGlante column picked up the de la Serna tip and since then people of Tagbilaran have been waiting for Lim to make his own defenses against his former friend's potshots in the disbursement of discretionary funds.

The hot and cold relation of the two former friends began to surface when a common friend Kagawad Zenaido "Djingo" Rama had a falling out with Lim.
Apparently siding with Rama, de la Serna's relationship with Lim was never the same again.
The first verbal skirmish between the two erupted when de la Serna asked for a Copy of the Summary of Budget and Expenditure from City Budget Officer Rose Palma.

Taking the cudgels for his department head, Lim went on air to denounce de la Serna's demand for a copy of the city's summary of expenditure. The intensity of de la Serna's retaliation against Lim's tirades was not as devastating as what some people expected it to be. Then a cooling off period prevailed after the two were seen shaking hands at an uptown coffee house.

A few weeks later, de la Serna got what he demanded from Palma. When he got hold of the copy of expenditure, he said his attention was immediately attracted to the huge amount for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) for the office of the mayor. He cited the amount of P39.6 million plus and for the General Services Offices (GSO) which is P58 million plus or a total of P97.6 million. De la Serna said this amount is roughly one-third of the total city budget of P304.5 million. This was the city's budget last year.

LIM REACTS

Although he skirted on many occasions the issue of his discretionary funds, Lim minced no words when he drew the battle lines against his close friend.

In an emotion-filled radio program aired over Station DYRD where Lim is the main host and in subsequent interviews, the city mayor dared de la Serna to prove his allegations "or you will regret that you started this".

Viewed from the outside as a total war between two close friends, the Lim attack was calculated to pulverize de la Serna's allegations of city hall shenanigans.

The two erstwhile allies had a falling out when de la Serna started sending letters of inquiries to the City Budget Office about the budget and expenditures of the city.

Lim said he would have gladly provided the information de la Serna wanted but he did not like it when the latter furnished copies of his letter to the Sangguniang Panlungsod including Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso.

The mayor said it is obvious that de la Serna is resorting to trial by publicity.

Responding to the latest letter de la Serna sent to city budget officer Rosemarie Palma, Lim said this is the last straw.

"I am formally asking the Ombudsman to investigate me, to determine if there is any anomaly or impropriety," he explained.

The mayor wants the anti-graft body to resolve "the very issues being hinted against me, namely, the amount appropriated for the maintenance and other operating expenses, the amount under my discretion and, most important of all, whether there is abuse of discretion and whether graft and corruption has been committed in the presence."

Lim accused de la Serna of going on a fishing expedition.

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