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Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Senator Pimentel Asks World Bank President for Report on Rigging of Road Projects
Senator Pimentel Asks World Bank President for Report on Rigging of Road Projects PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 06:53

 

 

S enate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) has formally requested World Bank President Robert Zellic for the bank’s complete report on its investigation into the alleged rigging of its road projects in the Philippines which led to its decision to blacklist three Filipino construction companies.

 

Senator Pimentel said that in his capacity as member of the Philippine Senate, he sent a letter-request to Mr. Zellic and two vice presidents of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., last week in accordance with its rules and procedures for releasing investigation reports.

 

          “Up to now, I have not received a response from the World Bank officials concerned.  But I am hopeful that they will grant my request for copies of the WB report, together with supporting papers or attachments,” he said.

 

          The minority leader said he opted to send his request directly to the WB headquarters in Washington, D.C., upon the advice of a close friend working in the bank who told him this was the proper way for securing those documents.

 

The WB Sanctions Board has debarred construction firms EC De Luna, Cavite Ideal and CM Pancho after they allegedly engaged in collusive and other fraudulent practices in bidding for World Bank-funded road projects.

 

          Mr. Pimentel said the senators will be facing a blank wall in its investigation of the alleged rigging of WB-funded road projects by a cartel of well-connected contractors unless they get hold of the bank’s complete and final report.

 

          The WB Sanctions Board has debarred EC De Luna, Cavite Ideal and CM Pancho construction companies after they were found to have allegedly engaged in collusive and other fraudulent practices in bidding for road projects financed by loans from the bank.

 

          The complete report had supposedly been transmitted last month to the Office of the Ombudsman through the Department of Finance.

 

          Senator Pimentel said that if he can obtain a copy of the report from the World Bank headquarters, there may be no need to subpoena the Ombudsman for the transmittal of the document to the Senate.

 

          “Without the WB report and its attachments, how can the senators pinpoint the personalities – the contractors, officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and fixers-brokers – who are involved in the alleged road scam?” he said.

           

          Senator Pimentel said the WB report will serve as the basis for investigating First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo for his purported role in favoring certain bidders of the road projects and the allegation of Sen. Panfilo Lacson that the presidential spouse received a P70-million bribe from the cartel through contractor Edward de Luna. # # #



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 06:56
 

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