Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lacson to Palace: Sue Grafters Behind Double Appropriation of 'Road to Nowhere'

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson today challenged Malacañang to initiate legal proceedings against those who appropriated P200 million for a stretch of road between Paranaque City and the South Luzon Expressway, not once but twice.

Lacson unearthed the redundant P200-million infrastructure project in the General Appropriations Act of 2008 during the Development Budget Coordinating Council at the Senate.

“Dapat sa kanila ibitin ng patiwarik (They should be hanged upside-down),” Lacson said referring to those behind the repeat insertion for the construction of the C-5 extension road from the South Luzon Expressway to Sucat in Parañaque.

“Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. kept harping about Malacañang’s adherence to good governance during the hearing, let’s see if his words would be translated into action by means of legal action,” he added.

During the DBCC hearing, Lacson questioned Andaya on the double appropriation in what he called the “road to nowhere.” Andaya could only reply that it was a “congressional insertion.”

In 2005, Lacson exposed irregularities in the government’s bridges program, where funds went to bridges that were either not completed, or led to “nowhere.”

Under the 2008 GAA section on projects for Metro Manila, the Department of Public Works and Highways had an item for the construction of the President Carlos Garcia Avenue Extension from SLEX to Sucat worth P200 million.

On the other hand, the same item appeared in the GAA under “Urgent Infrastructure Including Local Projects,’ this time under the item “Construction of C-5 Road Extension from SLEX to Sucat Road,” with the same amount appropriated for it.

“President Garcia Avenue Extension and C-5 are one and the same. Who knows what Malacañang will use the extra P200 million for? What we are sure of is that it will end up in the pockets of some Palace official,” he said.

Lacson said that even if this were an initiative of Malacañang’s allies, the Palace should show its “adherence to good governance” by haling those responsible to court.

“Whether allies or not, Malacañang should initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for the insertion,” he said.

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2 comments:

Jaywalker said...

On another note this scandal should not be called Road to Nowhere as it does lead to somewhere…..... to the pockets of those realty development owners that stands to gain from the value appreciation of their housing development project and scandalous windfall payment for the right-of-way at the expense of the taxpayers.

Since the realty development firm owners stands to profit the right-of-way should have been donated to the government. The investigation should also cover not just those government officials involved in the double insertion of the budget but the project itself to see if undue political influence and position was used on the project.

Mike Velarde's realty development is one of those firms that will benefit from the project even without the double insertion, maybe he should also be investigated owing to her close relationship with the administration........

Sen. Ping Lacson said...

jaywalker, i do hope we get to the bottom of all this, starting with the investigation this coming monday. let us not let down our guard