Press Release
December 5, 2017


SENATE - Senator Manny Pacquiao wanted the Senate Committee on Public Works to get to the bottom of the P8.7 billion fund anomaly released by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as payments for the road right-of-way claims in General Santos City.

The fund controversy involved a series of releases by the DPWH under the tutelage of Hermogenes Ebdane and Rogelio Singson.

Sen. Pacquiao on Tuesday authored Senate Resolution no. 561, titled "A resolution directing the Senate Committee on Public Works to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the reported faults in the system, if any, resulting to the misuse of government funds for its road right-of-way project covered by alleged spurious land titles in General Santos City."

"Mr. President, I'm very disappointed with these public officials, who are nothing more than mere scammers, magnanakaw, kurakot...," Sen. Pacquiao said.

The senator from Mindanao claimed the funds should have been used for the development of the country and upliftment of the people's lives.

"Hindi ko maintindihan paano nakakatulog ng mahimbing sa gabi ang mga taong ito gayong alam nila ang kalokohang ginagawa nila. These actions were done by humans with no conscience," Sen. Pacquiao added.

The boxer-lawmaker said there is a need to investigate the anomalous fund releases to curb corruption in the agency involved and to correct whatever flaws present in the current system.

"I believe that it is our duty as legislators to solve the faults in our system," Sen. Pacquiao declared.

Sen. Pacquiao was hoping that the Senate investigation would expose a labyrinth of conspiracy involving officials in the Register of Deeds, Courts of Law, DPWH, Department of Environment & Natural Resources, including some influential private individuals who fabricate spurious land titles to defraud the government of billions of pesos.

Whistleblower Roberto Catapang Jr. mentioned in his affidavit Wilma Mamburam, a certain Colonel Chino Mamburan, Merceditas Dumlao and Nelson Ti as among those involved in the P8.7 billion scam.

Catapang claimed to be a member of a syndicate involved in the fund scam but turned state witness due to fear for his life. He was placed under the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ.

Catapang bared that Ti, the group's alleged financier, is a "close friend" of former President Aquino.

Catapang further bared he has documents that could prove former budget secretary Florencio Abad had approved the release of funds for right-of-way claims totaling P500 million in just four days in late 2013.

Singson allegedly made the request on December 23, 2013 and was approved by Abad on December 27, 2013.

Abad, Singson and 41 other individuals had already been placed on the Department of Justice's immigration lookout bulletin order.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had already directed the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a deeper investigation on the anomalous fund releases.

It can be recalled that sometime in 2005, Ebdane, then the DPWH secretary, released P135 million as payment for the road right-of-way claim of a certain Vicente Lagpang Torres in General Santos City through the help of Col. Mamburam.

Mamburam allegedly was a former official pilot of Ebdane.

Mamburam used an anomalous order of Judge Cader P. Indar to secure the release of P135 million from DPWH.

Indar issued an order directing DPWH-Manila to pay P135 million to Torres as RROW compensation despite the absence of an original certificate of title.

Indar was dismissed as judge when Lucia Olarte Magtibay, one of the heirs of Don Jose Olarte, owner of Hacienda Olarte in General Santos City, filed a complaint against him before the Supreme Court.

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