STORY OF THE DAY


FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT SCAM HEARING RESUMES IN HOUSE



House Committee on Rules chaired by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya resumes hearing on the alleged flood control budget scam on Tuesday.

However, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno was still a no-show.

Diokno has been tagged by Andaya as the brains behind the ₱75 billion insertions in the 2019 National Budget supposedly for flood control projects.

Allegedly, Diokno manipulated the allocation of huge flood control funds to localities in Sorsogon and Catanduanes and that the contracts for projects were given to a favored contractor.

During the previous hearing of the panel in Naga City, Andaya has asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council to gather all bank transactions of both CT Leoncio, which was earlier tagged as the Palace’s favored contractor, and Aremar Construction Corporation, a company owned by Diokno’s supposed in-laws in Sorsogon.

But on Tuesday’s hearing, AMLC officer-in-charge Mel Georgie Racela said they cannot comply with the request since bank transactions are kept and maintained by banks.

However, this did not stop Andaya as the panel has gathered ₱81.1 million worth of deposit slips from several Bicol region-based contractors who have attested that CT leoncio was just one of the dummies for Aremar.

When asked on the allegations, Aremar’s biggest stockholder, Casiguran, Sorsogon Mayor Edwin Hamor, denied personal relationship with Diokno.

Hamor, who is present at the hearing said he just met Diokno at the wedding, since his stepson is the husband of Diokno’s daughter Charlotte Justine Diokno Sicat.

Meanwhile, the House panel is already looking into possible tax evasion and plunder charges against Hamors as the involved amount breaches the ₱50 million plunder point.