House leader denies payola to solons from Chinese crime lord for BBL passage | Inquirer News

House leader denies payola to solons from Chinese crime lord for BBL passage

/ 07:47 PM June 01, 2015

House Majority floor leader. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

House Majority floor leader. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

HOUSE Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II on Monday denied that funds from an alleged Chinese crime lord were used to buy lawmakers’ votes to pass the proposed Bangsamoro basic law (BBL).

In an interview with reporters, the Mandaluyong representative called as a “fabricated lie” The Standard report, which alleged that P440 million were allocated to bribe the 292 lawmakers in the lower chamber – or P1.5 million promised to each lawmaker – for their vote for the BBL.


“Unfair ang ganung report na sabihin based on reliable sources. There’s no such thing. It’s a fabricated lie… Walang bahid ng katotohanan,” Gonzales said.


The newspaper report said the funds came from alleged Chinese criminal Wang Bo who paid the Bureau of Immigration (BI) P100 million to secure his release after the bureau initially ordered his deportation, and another P400 million for the lawmakers.

Wang Bo allegedly embezzled $100 million, and is suspected of opening casinos for transnational gambling.

The report also said bags of cash were allegedly unloaded in the rear entrance of the House of Representatives and these were taken to the office of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

The report said the CCTV footage of the incident supposed to have occurred from Monday to Wednesday was overwritten.

“I can speak for all to deny that there’s no such thing. This is very sweeping… when you say… everyone received,” Gonzales added.

Gonzales acknowledged though that it would be a challenge for the chamber to reach the majority numbers to pass the proposed measure that seeks to create a more politically autonomous Bangsamoro region to implement a government peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).


The BBL is expected to face rough sailing after its main benefactor the MILF got into an firefight with Special Action Force troops last Jan. 25 in a botched antiterror operation meant to take down international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir, who the MILF allegedly coddled in its territory. The incident resulted in the death of 44 SAF troopers, 18 MILF fighters and five civilians in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao.

“The number [is] really a cause of concern… We need 146 (representatives) on the floor,” Gonzales said.

Cagayan De Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who led the Bangsamoro ad hoc committee, which approved the bill on first reading, also lamented what he deemed “irresponsible reporting.”

“Absolute rubbish! No money delivered nor received by me last week or at anytime for the approval of BBL. This kind of irresponsible reporting and black propaganda should stop! This will not hinder me from pushing for the approval of the Substitute bill to achieve lasting peace in the Bangsamoro and the economic development of the Bangsamoro and Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga also denied receiving money to pass the BBL.

“Accusation is not synonymous with truth. I will resign from the House of Representatives if those who are saying that I was promised P1 million pesos,” Barzaga said. AC


TAGS: bribes, Nation, News

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