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MADRIGAL PRESENTS EVIDENCE. Senator Ana Consuelo Jamby Madrigal presents evidence against Senator Manny Villar whom she accused of corruption in the controversial C% road project. JIM GUIAO PUNZALAN/INQUIRER

VILLAR TALKS ABOUT C5 ROAD MESS. Senator Manny Villar talked about the controversial C5 road project during a forum with the Philippine Daily Inquirer last week. Video taken and edited by INQUIRER.nets Rastle Lozano, Janie Octia, Edzelle Pea. | READ RELATED STORY 1 | 2

VILLAR TALKS ABOUT C5 ROAD MESS. Senator Manny Villar talked about the controversial C5 road project during a forum with the Philippine Daily Inquirer last week. Video taken and edited by INQUIRER.nets Rastle Lozano, Janie Octia, Edzelle Pea. | READ RELATED STORY 1 | 2


Madrigal testifies vs Villar

Senator: Villars pushed project to their advantage

By Maila Ager
First Posted 09:54:00 06/01/2009

Filed Under: Infrastructure, Graft & Corruption, Congress

MANILA, Philippines? (UPDATE 2) Senator Ana Consuelo ?Jamby? Madrigal on Monday told the Senate committee of the whole that Senator Manuel Villar Jr. and his wife Las Pinas Representative Cynthia Villar pushed for the realignment of the C-5 road extension project to their advantage.

In her testimony, Madrigal said the Villar couple?s Adelfa Properties Inc. was one of three entities which sought the rerouting of the original Manila-Cavite-Toll Expressway in 1998 to Las Pias-Paraaque link road.

?Alam ko po ang dahilan. Ang dahilan dito ay gusto kasing dumaan yung bagong realigned C-5 sa kanilang mga lupain at nang mabayaran sila [I know the reason. The reason is they want the realigned C-5 to pass by their lands so that they would be paid for right of way],? she said.

?Yun po kasing road right of way, ang ibig sabihin nun pag nadaanan ng kalsada, sila ay mababayaran ng gobyerno at sila ay kikita dyan [The right of way means that if the road passed by their property, they will be paid by the government and they will earn from it],? she pointed out.

Based on the 2008 general information sheet of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Madrigal said Villar owned 52 percent of Adelfa and his wife the rest.

In her complaint, the accusing senator claimed that several properties owned by the Villars were affected by the construction of the road project and had received payments for the road right of way.

She said 16 of 39 lots affected by the construction were owned by the Villars.

The original plan of the project did not push but the government, she said, paid P1.8 billion to affected property owners for the right of way.

Madrigal said the total amount paid by the government to corporations owned by the Villars was P136 million and the amount that is yet to be collected by the corporations was P84 million.

To have a ?better appreciation? of the evidence, Senator Panfilo ?Ping? Lacson moved for the conduct of ocular inspection of the road project.

Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who was presiding over the hearing, ruled in favor of Lacson?s motion.

The committee has yet to schedule the date of the ocular inspection.

In his opening statement at the start of the hearing, Enrile said the committee could proceed ?accordingly? with the hearing as the high tribunal has not yet issued any ruling on the petition.

Instead, Enrile said, the Supreme Court has required the committee to file its comments on the petition not later than 9 a.m. Tuesday.

?With due respect to the Supreme Court, as there is no temporary retraining order or writ of preliminary injunction by the court to stop the Senate committee of the whole from proceeding on the ethics case filed against Senator Manny Villar, it?s the understanding and position of the chair that the Senate committee of the whole proceed accordingly without showing or suggesting disrespect or defiance to the Supreme Court,? he said.

In proceeding with the hearing, Enrile said, the body was simply relying on ?our time honored constitution? that the three branches of government are coequal.

But he reiterated his previous statements that Villar or his chosen counsel and other petitioners were free and welcome to join and participate in the trial any time.

?The substantive rights of Senator Villar, inspite of his or his counsel?s absence will be safeguarded and protected and all witnesses in the adjudicatory hearing will be made available to him or to his counsel for cross examination at anytime if the respondent senator so desires,? he said.

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