Aguirre keen to have in watchlist syndicate behind P8.7-B road scam » Manila Bulletin News

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Aguirre keen to have in watchlist syndicate behind P8.7-B road scam

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By Jeffrey Damicog 

Members of the syndicate involved in the P8.7-billion road right of way (RROW) scam are expected to be placed in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) now that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is conducting an investigation over the anomalies.

Justice Secretary announces the discovery of an alleged criminal syndicate involved in the 8.7 billion pesos Right of Way scam during the Aquino administration during a press conference at the DOJ on Friday (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announces the discovery of an alleged criminal syndicate involved in the 8.7 billion pesos Right of Way scam during the Aquino administration during a press conference at the DOJ on Friday. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II revealed the syndicate continues to operate according to a male witness who is involved in the scam.

“Nandiyan pa rin sabi niya sa akin (The witness said they are still here),” Aguirre said.

When asked if the members of the syndicate will have to be placed in the ILBO to monitor their movements, the secretary replied “most probably.”

Under the scam committed in General Santos City since 2009, Aguirre explained “this criminal syndicate purportedly submitted fake titles in the name of nonexistent persons to allow them to claim from the Department of Public Works and Highways the just compensation from the expropriation of land which will be supposedly occupied by government projects.”

“Some of the persons named by our witness as being involved are a Wilma Mamburam, Col. Chino Mamburan, Merceditas Dumlao and Nelson Ti. Our witness further revealed that Mr. Nelso Ti, the financier of the group, is a close relative of Domingo Lee, Philippine envoy to China, and is supposedly close to former President Benigno Aquino III,” he noted.

Aguirre added that the syndicate was already able to process over 300 RROW claims including one which amounted to P29 million.

“I was also informed that for the syndicate to accomplish these apparently criminal acts, several public officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Internal Revenue, the City Assessor’s Office of General Santos, the Registry of Deeds, the Commission on Audit and the Regional Trial Courts have been identified by the said witness as having participated in the processing, approval and eventual release of payments to cover these dubious claims,” said the secretary.

Aguirre has already tagged two former officials under the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as being involved.

Citing the signatures in the documents presented by the witness and his sworn statement, Aguirre said “some high ranking officials of the previous administration may have potential liabilities like former DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson who apparently approved and requested the release of payment of fake RROW claims.”

“Former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who apparently approved the release of payment for illegal RROW claims as requested by DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson may also face potential criminal liability,” he pointed out.

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