Drilon backs probe on Palace’s ‘favored contractor’
MANILA, Philippines — Even Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was “bothered” by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.’s expose that a single contractor had cornered 30 government projects worth billions of pesos.
So on Tuesday, Drilon supported a colleague’s proposal to have the issue investigated.
“Yes, we should investigate that. In fact I will raise it here when the DPWH budget comes around and find out who is this and how this becomes possible. I’m glad that Cong. Andaya has raised this issue,” the Senate leader told reporters.
DPWH refers to Department of Public Works and Highways.
“First, we’ll take it up in the plenary and let’s see if there is basis to investigate it further. Certainly the Blue Ribbon will have jurisdiction on this and the Ombudsman should be involved,” Drilon said, referring to the blue ribbon committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon.
In a speech on Monday, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. disclosed that Bulacan-based construction firm, CT Leoncio Construction and Trading, bagged the projects even before Congress could approve the 2019 national budget.
Senator Panfilo Lacson immediately called an investigation — either by Congress or the Office of the Ombudsman— on Andaya’s exposé.
“I will not immediately jump into any conclusion. What bothers me is why a single contractor can corner so much of the projects,” Drilon said.
Andaya also alleged the firm was not even a registered corporation but a single proprietorship owned by a certain Consolacion Tubuhan Leoncio.
But whether or not the company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission is not important, according to Drilon, as long as it is adequately equipped and capitalized.
“It is the capitalization of the contractor, whether a single proprietorship or corporation and the capacity to execute the project. That’s important,” the Minority Leader said. /kga
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