House panel begins probe on dubious right of way claims in GenSan
A House of Representatives panel kicked off on Tuesday its investigation on the alleged P8.7-billion road right of way (RROW) scam in General Santos City.
The House committee on good government and accountability started to tackle House Resolution No. 1551 filed by South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. to investigate the alleged payments by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of RROW claimants in General Santos City using “spurious” or fabricated land titles during the time of former President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“The magnitude of the public fund allegedly misused and the extent of the government offices and agencies that might be involved, no citizen of [General Santos] City could afford to put this issue in deaf ears,”Acharon said in the resolution.
“At stake here (are) the potential of the city and the future of the people therein,” he added.
In November 2017, Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II bared that one of the whistleblowers alleged that two of Aquino’s most trusted men – former Public Works Secretary Rogelio “Babes” Singson and former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad – were involved in the scheme that supposedly started during the latter part of the Arroyo administration in 2009.
While the two officials’ involvement has yet to be established, Aguirre said also last year that the witness had told him that Singson and Abad “were aware of the scam.”
Abad and Singson have denied the allegations.
Likewise, Singson even vowed to expose the supposed whistleblower, which was allegedly part of a land scam syndicate operating in Region 12.