WHO is this woman and what’s she doing with Rep. Jose Benjamin Benaldo of the city’s 1st District?
A serious question on his flashy lifestyle is now confronting the Cagayan de Oro congressman after copies of a Cathay Pacific Airways manifest showed that he may have left for Europe together with the 35-year old blonde last June 18.
Copies of the manifest leaked to this paper showed that Benaldo and the foreigner were seated next to each other––the congressman was assigned to seat no. 332/58G while the woman took seat no. 333/58F.
Benaldo reportedly spent 10 days in Europe and then returned last Friday afternoon, alone.
Questions were also raised on what the foreigner was doing in the Philippines. She came to the country as a “tourist” on Jan. 12, 2011 and stayed until last June 18, the day she flew to Europe allegedly together with Benaldo.
For over a year, “she had no visible means of livelihood,” said a source who requested anonymity. “How did she support herself or who supported her?”
The foreigner, according to the source, was introduced as a “model” and yet “she is identified with no modeling outfit.”
Neither did the blonde make any product endorsement, said the source who was involved in the campaign to make Benaldo win in 2010.
The same source provided this paper several photos of Benaldo and the foreigner, and copies of the Cathay Pacific manifest.
“The issue here is Benaldo’s lifestyle. Europe is expensive. Where is he getting all this money? I’m really appalled that the congressman was going around Europe while many Cagayanons are homeless because of ‘Sendong’ and while barangay captains were waiting for him. He really needs to explain,” the source added.
This paper is witholding the foreigner’s name as of the moment. This paper also tried to get Benaldo to comment by calling him through his two mobile phone numbers last weekend. His phone rang but no one answered.
Alejandro Bascon, head of Benaldo’s office here, told The Gold Star Daily he would inform the congressman of this paper’s request for an interview. Benaldo did not return the call until the time this paper was put to bed. (Herbie Gomez)