Senator Manny Pacquiao has moved to invite businessman Eldon Cruz, brother-in-law of former Pres. Benigno Aquino III, former Departments of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Florencio Abad and Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson to shed light on the alleged anomalous payment of P8.7-billion to road right-of-way (ROW) claims in Mindanao.
Paquiao wants Abad, Singson and Cruz to face senators in next Monday’s hearing under his committee on public works.
“Kasama (silang tatlo). Ngayon ipapadala ‘yung invitation. Kasama silang lahat. Kasi P8.7 billion ang pinag-uusapan, hindi daan-daang milyon ‘yan, kung hindi bilyon ‘yung pinag-uusapan dyan. Hindi ito biro,” he said.
In his privilege speech, Pacquiao said he has not only relied on the information released to the public by Department of Justice (DOJ) Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II on the scam but also from confidential documents he received from his own sources.
The senator said they would try to invite as well the so-called whistleblower, Roberto Catapang Jr. who had admitted to being part of the syndicate and implicated Abad, Singson and Cruz.
Reports said that the fake ROW claims started in 2009 and covered the entire SOCCSKSARGEN or Region 12 – South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos.
“Ni-review ko lahat. Grabe! (Kaya) gusto ko maimbestigahah, matanong. Ang dami kong mga katanungan. Mabulaga na lang kayo sa Monday, (may) mga evidence, mga tanong na talagang hindi mo masikmura,” he said.
Pacquiao said he saw the list of the supposed beneficiaries and they were unfamiliar to him.
“Sabi ko, ang liit-liit ng GenSan, hindi ko makilala itong mga ito? Hindi (mga) taga GenSan at kung makikita mo ang mga papeles, iisa lang ang gumawa, pare-pareho lahat. Imposible masyado ba,” he said.
“Yung mga papers na meron ako, nakakagalit eh,” Pacquiao said.
The senator, however, refused to say if he’s convinced on the culpability of Cruz, Abad and Singson as he would rather wait for them to explain their side.
“So ‘yan ang tatanungin natin. Kailangan may managot dito sa malaking pera na nawala,” he said.
“Kailangan may managot dito. Sa atin, hindi tayo namemersonal kung hindi, ‘yan ang trabaho natin as legislators, as government official. Pay may corruption, kailangan ihinto natin,” the senator said.