By Jeffrey Damicog
Former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, and 41 others have been placed on the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) for their alleged involvement in the P8.7-billion road right-of-way scam, it was revealed on Monday.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued an urgent memorandum dated November 24, placing 43 persons, including Abad and Singson, on ILBO to keep track of them.
“Considering the gravity of the possible offenses which may have been committed, there is a strong probability that they may attempt to place themselves beyond the reach of the legal processes of this Department by leaving the country,” read the order addressed to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente.
“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or whereabouts,” Aguirre said.
Apart from Abad and Singson, those also placed on the ILBO are Wilma Mamburam, Col. Chino Mamburam, Nelson Ti, Mercedita Dumlao, Leonardo Dinopol, Evelyn Paloso, Rudy Hadji Ong, Marissa Tiongson Seguirre, Mae Javier, Amei Amel Velayo, William Uy, Allan Manansala, Michael Baguio, Srah Guro, Edgar Pampanga, Rodel Unos, Reynaldo Tamayo, Esgtrella Decena Zaldevar, Ser John Pastrana, Raymund Ramos, Lisa Bag-Ao, Marciana Herrera, Aristeo Reyes, Leureano Suan Jr., Patrick Gatan, Peter Armand Henares, Manglamba Haji Ali, Roy Manao, Nashief Papandayan, Noraisa Abdullah, Jaime Pacanan, an Engineer Romy, Alberto Olasiman, Tats Ampatuan, Abdulmanan Ali, a certain Mahir, one PO3 Salapudin, Nehru Ampatuan, Guidtayan Gani, PO3 Farouk Ampatuan, and PO2 Samir Ampatuan.
In his memorandum, Aguirre instructed “all immigration officers to be on the lookout/alert for the above-named individuals should any of them pass through the immigration counters in any of our international ports and/or seaports.”
Aguirre said more names will be included in the ILBO after it is determined who else are involved in the scam.
He lamented that Abad and Singson were aware of the scam but they allegedly allowed the payments of the fake claims.
Scam whistleblower Roberto Catapang Jr. said on Monday that in 2011 and 2012 payments were stopped for the entire Region 12, including Gen. Santos City, after government officials found most of the claims were fake.
In spite of this, Catapang said payments resumed for the fake claims but only for Gen. Santos City.
“Despite the fact that proper officials have been made aware of these fake titles, ni-resume nila (they resumed it),” said Aguirre.
“Nai-stop (they stopped) temporarily but they saw it profitable kaya ni-resume (that’s why they resumed),” he pointed out.
Among the 300 fake claims, Catapang presented a signed document of Abad approving payment of P218 million out of the P500 million for 18 fake claims.
The document also showed that Singson sent the request on December 23, 2013 and was approved surprisingly swiftly by Abad who signed the document on December 27, 2013 even though it was already the Christmas holidays.