By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will formally ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue arrest warrants and hold departure order against all those allegedly involved in the P8.7-billion road right-of-way (RROW) scam in General Santos City.
At the resumption of his committee’s probe into the infrastructure scandal Wednesday, Senator Richard Gordon, panel chairman, said he will be recommending to the DOJ the arrest of the individuals tagged in the falsification of land titles to claim RROW compensation from the government.
He said he will submit a partial report of the committee’s investigation in convincing the DOJ to heed his request.
He said he will submit the same report to the Office of the Ombudsman to ask the fast tracking of its investigation on the complaint filed against government officials involved in the scam.
At the hearing, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Agent Mamerto Tello said that have filed cases against 46 individuals over the nine parcels of land found to have falsified titles used in defrauding the government of P255.55 million in RROW payments in General Santos City alone.
NBI said the complaint included Ser John Pastrana, chief of the Land Registration Authority’s (LRA) Micrographics and Computer Division, who was earlier cited by state witness Roberto Catapang Jr. as part of the syndicate.
Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 12, and the General Santos City assessor’s office were also charged.
Tello added that that among those charged were Wilma Mamburao, Chino Mamburao, William Uy and Nelson Ti, who was earlier tagged as the financier of the alleged syndicate to advance the payments to claimants and to finance the processing of their claims.
Ti, who remains unlocated, is facing arrest over multiple charges and outstanding warrants.
The NBI said they have new information on the whereabouts of Ti and hopes it would yield a “positive development” this time.
Gordon, who has been inviting Ti to his hearing to no avail, on Wednesday ordered the latter’s contempt “so he can be arrested already.”
Gordon also asked the NBI to publish the photos of Ti in newspapers to able arrest Ti. He vowed to continue the committee’s probe until Ti shows up.