SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House Committee on Rules has formally invited DBM Sec.Benjamin Diokno, his daughter Charlotte Justine, and his in-laws who are incorporators of Aremar Construction to appear as resource persons in the panel's next hearing scheduled on January 15.
The committee, at the same time, sent subpoenas to senior officials of the DPWH, AMLC, BIR and DBM as well as the individual who acted as the liaison officer of C.T. Leoncio Construction in dealing with government contracts.
We expect full cooperation and full disclosure from those invited to the hearing as they will be testifying under oath. We also expect to be provided with documentary evidence that could shed light on the anomalous budget practices of the DBM and questionable allocations for DPWH, which we uncovered during the previous hearing.
This is the proper forum for our senior government officials to air their side on the issues at hand. We will give them all the time needed to present their case. But we expect specific responses to specific issues. No general denials, and hiding behind technicalities.
What are the facts to be threshed out in the next hearing?
Multi-billion peso flood control projects, which did not pass thru the legal process for selection were inserted into the national budget without the knowledge of Sec. Villar.
A huge chunk of the flood-control projects was allocated not to flood-prone areas and danger zones, but to favored areas such as Casiguran, which has no threat of flooding.
Aremar Construction, which is owned by the in-laws of Sec. Diokno, cornerned billions of pesos worth of projects in Sorsogon using dummy corporations.
At least P70-million worth of kickbacks were deposited to the bank account of Aremar by their dummy contractors. Proof: five deposit slips of different dates and different construction firms.
The deposit slips clearly indicate that these are proceeds from DPWH contracts, none of which Aremar won through bidding.
We hope the officials of AMLC can help the House committee identify who really benefitted from the public funds that found their way to Aremar Construction and its dummy corporations.