Congressman Arroyo paid for chopper lease—witnessBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines — It was Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo and not the family-owned LTA Inc., who allegedly paid for the rent of five helicopters from Lionair Inc.
Testifying before the Senate blue ribbon committee, Rowena del Rosario claimed that the money she paid for the rent did not come from the account of the LTA.
“Hindi talaga nanggagaling sa account ng LTA ang ipinambabayd sa helicopter…Paano ko po maililibro kung hindi galing sa LTA account,” Del Rosario said.
Asked by Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada if the money came from the congressman, Del Rosario said “Oo nga po.”
But when Estrada pointed out that the lease agreement was between the LTA Inc and Lionair, Del Rosario said, “Basta nangangaling po sa kanya (Iggy) ang pera.”
The witness could not also recall the total amount she paid for the rent, and said that there was no recording of them.
Asked if she was not wondering why there was no recording of the payments, Del Rosario said, “Nagtataka din po.”
But Lionair marketing officer Edith Solano-Juguan said the total money she collected from Del Rosario was P18. 450M for eight years.
Juguan said the payment was for maintenance fees of the helicopters and not for the rent as alleged by Del Rosario.
Lionair claimed the helicopters belonged to former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.