Tag Archives: First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo

Ombudsman sacrificed 17 DPWH execs to get FG, Ebdane off the hook, says militant group

Ombudsman sacrificed 17 DPWH execs to get FG, Ebdane off the hook, says militant group

The 17 officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who were named in the charge sheet of the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged anomalies regarding World Bank-funded road projects were made as sacrificial lambs to get First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo and public works secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. off the hook.

“This is ridiculous, outrageous and a grand design for one of the biggest cover ups of the 21st century. Where is the Ombudsman’s sense of truth and objectivity here? This anti-graft office is setting the stage for another major whitewash, nothing more, nothing less,” the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said in a press statement.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the charging of 17 DPWH officials minus the alleged principals—the president’s husband Atty. Arroyo and Secretary Ebdane, is nothing but a political masquerade.

“The Filipino public will not buy the idea that Atty. Arroyo and Secretary Ebdane were not part of the collusion in orchestrating corruption in the Arroyo bureaucracy. The people are not born yesterday not to understand this well-placed syndicate and mafia operating in and out of Malacañang and in and out of the public works portfolio,” he added.

The Pamalakaya leader said the Filipino public is expecting the Office of the Ombudsman to absolve the First Gentleman and Secretary Ebdane from this large-scale act of corruption in the Macapagal-Arroyo government.

“The taxpaying public is convinced the Office of the Ombudsman will not touch the untouchables and it will just go after the starlets and bit players in the DPWH. The Filipino taxpayers are correct, because the Ombudsman decided to drop the presidential husband and Secretary Ebdane from the charge sheet and from the horror roll,” added Hicap.

However, Pamalakaya appealed to the 17 DPWH officials named in the charge sheet of the Office of the Ombudsman to tell all and reveal the involvement of First Gentleman and the public works secretary on alleged anomalies in foreign and national government funded projects.
“Bare all and tell all. The truth will set them free. That should be their political motto once they face the probers of the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with this case and other anomalies involving the top honchos in Malacañang. This is their time to redeem themselves and become the people’s witnesses against this regime of greed,” the militant group added.

The Office of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) on Wednesday recommended the conduct of a preliminary investigation to determine if graft charges could be filed against 17 officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways being linked to the allegedly anomalous World Bank-funded road projects.

Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, head of the FIO, named those who should be investigated include former DPWH secretary Florante Soriquez, current undersecretary Manuel Bonoan, and assistant secretaries Bashir Rasuman, Salvador Pleytol and Juanito Abergas.

Jalandoni said the FIO pushed for a preliminary investigation on Soriquez because he approved the results of the bidding. He said Bonoan also has to undergo probe because he was the chairman of the DPWH-BAC for Visayas and Mindanao projects, as well as Rasuman because he was BAC chair for Mindanao.

The Office of the Ombudsman also recommended the investigation on Mocamad Raki-in Sr., vice-chairman for the Mindanao area; Rafael Yabut, vice chairman for operations for Area III; BAC members Emerson Benitez, project manager lll and head of the BAC-Technical Working Group; Baliame Mamainte, project director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-Project Management Office (IBRD); Lope Adriano, project director for the IBRD-PMOP; and Atty. Joel Jacob, officer-in-charge of Legal Service.

Others are Camilo Foronda, OIC for Legal Service; Director Antonio Molano, Jr. of the Bureau of Research and Standards; Leonora Cuenca, OIC of the Comptrollership and Financial Management Services; Director Walter Ocampo of the Bureau of Construction, all BAC members and Florencio Aricheta, representative from National Constructors Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Construction Association.

If there is probable cause, the officials could be charged for violating Section 3 (e) and (i) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices); and Section 4A (a) and (b) of RA No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees).

They could also be charged with administrative cases of grave misconduct, dishonesty, conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service and neglect of duty. #

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Leftists advised FG: “Enough of masquerade, face Senate probe”

Leftists advised FG: “Enough of masquerade, face Senate probe”

Ardent critics of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration on Wednesday gave an unsolicited advice to First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo to testify at the Senate on his alleged involvement on the rigged bidding of World Bank funded-projects in the country.

“Enough of masquerade and face the Senate probe. The First Gentleman is legally, constitutionally, politically and morally obliged to face the investigation because the issue involves the presidency, the Filipino national interest and the people’s standing in the international community,” said the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) in a statement.

“The issue is here is not the First Gentleman as a private person. The issue here is the World Bank allegations of first-rate crime of corruption against the Manila government which linked the presidential husband to corruption-checkered projects. The issue is of national importance to the 90 million Filipino public,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said.

The Pamalakaya leader warned Mr. Arroyo’s team of doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Center will be condemned by public opinion if they refuse to cooperate with the Senate investigating body and instead play their roles to the hilt as supporting actors to this national escapade of Atty. Arroyo.

Hicap said the statement of Mr. Arroyo’s spokesperson Atty. Ruy Rondain —-that the First Gentleman is well enough to play golf because it is not stressful compared to attending the hearing on the Senate investigation on World Bank rigged projects in the country, is grossly insulting to the collective intelligence of the Filipino people.

“What kind of mindset and thinking is this? This is not only mind-boggling; it is also very, very insulting to the 90 million thinking people of this country. They are moving heaven and earth to prevent the First Gentleman from testifying at the Senate,” he added.

Pamalakaya also dared the Senate Committee on economic affairs chaired by administration senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to forcibly compel Atty. Arroyo and his co-accuse former congressmen Prospero Pichay and Jacinto Paras, past and present officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways, including the owners of E.C de Luna Construction and other firms named in the World Bank report, to attend the hearing.

The group’s challenge was contrary to Sen. Santiago’s proposal to excuse the First Gentleman from attending the Senate hearing and just be asked to submit a deposition. #

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Japanese contractor asked to testify on WB funded projects

Japanese contractor linking First Gentleman, former senator
to WB rigged projects asked to testify

“Please 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. #


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