NBI FILES PLUNDER RAPS VS FORMER GOV'T OFFICIALS OVER 'RIGHT OF WAY SCAM'
After six months of investigation, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed plunder and graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and several others in connection with the Road Right-of-Way scam worth P255 million in General Santos City.
This was part of an alleged P8-billion scam that involved fake compensation claims on lands used for government projects.
Thirty-three other former and current DPWH officials were also facing the said charges.
The incumbent DPWH officials also face the administrative charge of grave misconduct.
The former budget chief was not included in the first batch of complaints but he was tagged as being allegedly part of the scam by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
The case stemmed from the expose of state witness Roberto Catapang, saying he used to work for a syndicate group that works with DPWH officials and employees in filing for bogus claims in right-of-way projects.
Catapang, who is now under the Justice department’s Witness Protection Program (WPP), said the syndicate submits fake land titles of non-existent owners to allow them to claim from the DPWH just compensation for the expropriation of lands which will be occupied in various government road projects.
According to him, claimants and documents were fake and a certain Paloso group is in charge of the fabrication of fake documents.
NBI Director Dante Gierran said there were nine claims with seven claimants which were paid amounting to P255,549,000 in five tranches as stated on the Disbursement Vouchers submitted by the DPWH to the NBI.
Based on the complaint, Abad granted the letter request of Singson “to fund the 4th payments of the nine claims being investigated.”