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Abad, Singson face plunder over alleged GenSan road scam

Updated

By Jeffrey Damicog

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday filed plunder and graft complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and 29 others for their alleged involvement in the Road Right of Way (RROW) scam in General Santos City.

After six months of investigation, NBI Director Dante Gierran in a letter to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said the “Bureau respectfully recommends that the erring government officials and their cohorts be charged of Plunder with a recommendation of Forfeiture Proceedings; violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and administratively be charged for Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty.”

Similarly charged were former and current government officials, namely: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 12 Planning and Design Division chief David Padlan; retired DPWH-12 Finance Division chief Hadji Ibrahim Mahorom; retired DPWH-12 Legal Unit chief Faisal Padate; retired DPWH-12 Assistant Regional Director Tomas Rodriguez; retired DPWH-12 Regional Director Siniloan Macarambon; DPWH-12 legal officer Ansare Busran; former Regional Directors Reynaldo Tamayo and Subair Diron; former Assistant Regional Director Laureano Suan Jr.; DPWH-12 Finance Division chief Julieta Marundan; DPWH-12 accountants Noraisa Abdullah Nassef Papandayan; DPWH-12 engineers Israel Balolong and Roger Oducayen; Land Registration Office (LRA) Micrographics and Division chief Ser John Pastrana; Register of Deeds (ROD) General Santos City chief Edgar Pampanga; and DPWH-12 resident auditors Carmencita Eden Talub and Elmina Buenbrazo.

Also included in the complaint are alleged syndicate head Wilma Mamburam; her brother, Col. Chino Mamburam, a former police official; financier Nelson Ti; Paloso group head Evelyn Paloso and members Rudy Hadji Ong, Mercedita Dumlao, Jose Emilio Valentin, Bonifacio Doria, Marisa Tiongson Seguirre, William Uy, Marie Faye Villamarin, and Mary Ann Joyce.

How it was done

“The manner of commission of the crime of Plunder is so deliberate that the evidence adduced could not only prove a ‘series’ of commission but also the combination of acts enumerated under the law,” read the complaint which alleged that the respondents accumulated and acquired ill-gotten wealth in the estimated amount of P250 million.

The case stemmed from the expose of state witness Roberto Catapang on the reported road right of way (RROW) scam in Regions 12 and 13.

Catapang, who is now under the Justice department’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) is a former member of the syndicate involved in the scam.

He said the syndicate, in collusion with DPWH officials and employees, submits fake land titles of non-existent owners to allow them to claim from the DPWH just compensation for the expropriation of lands which will be occupied in various government road projects.

Catapang claimed the Paloso group is in charge in the fabrication of the fake documents.

“In the course of the investigation, the NBI investigation team was able to establish that the approval of the bogus claims was so certain, despite the tedious process and numerous approvals from various government offices due to monetary consideration,” said Gierran.

Gierran noted that there were nine claims with seven claimants which were paid in full in the amount of P255,549,000 in five tranches based on the Disbursement Vouchers (DV) submitted by the DPWH to the NBI.

“However, the supporting documents such as identification cards of Philhealth, Postal IDs of claimants, TCTs (transfer certificate titles), Tax Declarations, City Appraisal Reports, City Ttreasurer’s Certification on Real Property Tax Receipts, among others, that were attached to the claims when verified by the NBI with concerned government agencies are all spurious,” he said.

The complaint noted that Abad granted the letter request of Singson “to fund the 4th payments of the nine claims being investigated.”

Though by March 2015 the nine claims were fully paid, the NBI said “the Office of the Register of Deeds of General Santos City issued a Certification stating that the title pertaining to the nine claims were not processed and it does not exist in the record and the vault of the Registry of Deeds.”

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