Right-of-way scam suspect points to witness Catapang as ‘real’ mastermind
Mercedita Dumlao, who was tagged by state witness Roberto Catapang Jr. in the alleged P8.7-billion fake right-of-way claims, has pointed to Catapang as the real mastermind behind the road scam.
This, as Dumlao on Friday asked Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to help her clear her name from Catapang’s “unfair” and “baseless” accusations of a “fictitious” scam.
“Contrary to Mr. Catapang’s claim, I am one of the numerous persons victimized by his felonious modus and scheme pertaining to his alleged RROW (Road Right of Way) claims before the Region XII Office of the DPWH,” Dumlao said in a two-page letter.
“I vehemently deny having any involvement in the said scam and condemn in the strongest possible terms the unfair and baseless accusation made by Mr. Catapang Jr.,” she said.
Catapang, in a press conference at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Nov. 27, implicated Dumlao, among others, in an alleged syndicate involved in the alleged multi-billion peso scam.
Former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) chief Rogelio Singson and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad were also tagged in the alleged scam.
After watching the DOJ press briefing, Dumlao said that it was only then that she found out the transfer certificate titles (TCT) allegedly sent to her by Catapang were “fake.”
“I could no longer recover my money or investment from Mr. Catapang as the RROW claims he said were pending before the DPWH are fictitious,” she said.
Dumlao said that she has already filed cases for estafa, libel and falsification of public documents before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against Catapang.
The cases were filed, Dumlao said, to recover what she said she has invested in Catapang’s “purported RROW claims” and the “fake TCTs” he allegedly sent her.
At the same time, Dumlao urged Aguirre to remove her name from the immigration lookout bulletin order.
“I humbly urge your good office to delete my name from the watch list bulletin as the same appears to be solely based on the false allegation of Mr. Catapang,” she said.
According to Catapang, the right-of-way claim using fake titles started in 2009, the latter part of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s rule. He said the scheme covered the entire Region 12 or “Soccsksargen.”
Catapang pointed to Singson and Abad as among those involved in the alleged scam. The witness also implicated Eldon Cruz, brother-in-law of former President Benigno Aquino III. /jpv