Japanese contractor linking First Gentleman, former senator
to WB rigged projects asked to testify
This was the appeal of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) to a Japanese contractor named in the World Bank report linking First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo in the alleged collusion and rigging in the bank’s funded road projects in the Philippines.
“The truth shall prevail over and above business and personal interests. In the name of national interest, we appeal to the Japanese contractor to come out in the open and bare all about this endless game of collusion, contract rigging and first-rate crime of corruption,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
“We are after the truth. This is not only about business interests and business ethics here. The people’s hard-earned taxes are involved here; therefore the 90 million Filipinos have the legal, moral and political rights to demand what exactly transpired,” added Hicap.
The Pamalakaya leader also asked the Japanese contractor to name the former senator he mentioned to World Bank probers who recently found out that three Filipino contractors and four Chinese companies had colluded to rig the bidding for a $ 33-milion WB-funded road project in the country.
“What is so special about this former Senator? Why he was in the picture? What’s his role in this 33-million US dollar contract rigging and corruption? The Filipino public deserves the real score and not the reel score,” added Hicap.
The World Bank report said the Japanese contractor got an impression the money was important in doing business in the country during his meeting with Atty. Arroyo and the ex-Senator. In another meeting with the former Senator, it had been made clear to him that there would be no business in the Philippines without paying money.
The contractor was told that the money would have to be paid as high up as the president, senior government officials and politicians in order to do any further business in the country.
Pamalakaya likewise asked the local contractor interviewed by the World Bank to shed lights on the $ 33-million rigged WB road project in the Philippines. The local contractor identified the presidential husband as behind Eduardo de Luna, owner and proprietor of E.C de Luna Construction Corp., one of the firms blacklisted by the World Bank.
The local contractor said de Luna acts as the intermediary between contractors and politicians for the bid fixing. Another foreign contractor interviewed by the World Bank said he was told to form a relationship with de Luna if he is to bag any project, and he was told that de Luna has connections with the First Gentleman.
The E.C de Luna construction group was permanently banned by World Bank, while two other Filipino construction firms—Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corp. and CM Pancho Construction were barred for four years.
The four banned Chinese firms were China Road and Bridge (banned for 8 years), China State Construction (banned for 6 years), China Wu Yi Co. (banned for 6 years) and China Geo-Engineering (banned for five years).
On top of the group’s appeal for World Bank witnesses to come out in the open, Pamalakaya said the WB expose on contract collusion and rigging should merit the expulsion of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane as chief of the department.
“Secretary Ebdane should resign and shall be continuously grilled by any investigating bodies looking into the alleged involvement of government and private entities close to the ruling political gangland in Malacañang,” said Pamalakaya.
The militant group said if Ebdane has still some political delicadeza as a political animal and a human being, he would quit his post and subject himself to investigation. #