By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has absolved former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson from P8.7-billion road right-of-way (RROW) controversy in Mindanao.
Senator Richard Gordon, committee chairman, said the panel is set to come up with an initial report to speed up cases against those involved in the fabrication of land titles to claim RROW compensation from the government under the Right-of-Way Act.
But the upcoming recommendation on those who should be held liable over the multi-billion peso racket would not include Singson, Gordon bared.
“Everybody from top to bottom, with the possible exception of Sec. Singson, because I think he is telling the truth. He did everything he can, but he was blindsided,” he told reporters after the hearing Wednesday.
Gordon ruled that Singson has no hand over the alleged syndicate which defrauded the government of RROW claims.
He believes that the former DPWH chief “made an extra effort to try” to look into the dubious land titles and owners who received a total of P255.5 million in RROW payments in General Santos City.
Singson, along with former Budget Sec. Florencio Abad, was earlier tagged by resigned Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in the scandal for supposedly approving the release of payment for the fake RROW claims.
Last March, the two were charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman, with other government officials and their alleged cohorts.
But Gordon said Singson showed due diligence by writing the Land Registration Authority (LRA) about the RROW compensation claims in General Santos City.