As the Senate probe into the alleged P8.7 billion road right-of-way (RROW) “scam” in General Santos City continued, Senator Richard J. Gordon identified the members of the syndicate and exposed their modus operandi.
Gordon chairs the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations or the Blue Ribbon Committee which is conducting an inquiry together with the Senate Committee on Public Works, chaired by Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao. At the latter’s request, Gordon and the Blue Ribbon went to GenSan to preside the hearing last March 23, 2018. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III also attended.
During the hearing, Gordon tore the case wide open, exposing things such as the modus operandi, identifying the members of the syndicate, and getting a clearer picture of how the syndicate pulled the scam off.
“We are happy with the way the investigation is progressing. The Blue Ribbon Committee, at the request of Sen. Pacquiao, went to GenSan, the Senate President was there too because it was important enough, to investigate a long, simpering racket involving right of way payments and a long, long racket of fake titles being issued right under our noses,” he said.
Like a lawyer cross-examining witnesses, Gordon unrelentingly questioned resource persons and witnesses, alike, until they could provide the points he was after. At one point, he was even frying the City Assessor because he could not ascertain whether or not they had a tax mapping of the city.
Government agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Commission on Audit were listening avidly and taking notes of the admissions concerning the payment for RROW claims that were already made.
“We were able to pinpoint with accuracy who are the people involved like the people with SPA (Special Power of Attorney) who admitted under cross examination that they are the ones being used to fleece the government and act as conduit for the money. The BIR was there listening. All these money flying around and the BIR said they were taking notes. COA was there. The BIR and the COA can now go after these people,” the Blue Ribbon chairman said.