Velasco urges PACC to send corruption report to Ombudsman

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 30, 2020   •   1012

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to submit to the Office of the Ombudsman their report on the alleged involvement of several lawmakers in anomalies at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature,” he said.

In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Velasco said the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He also remind the public “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”

Based on reports, Velasco said the House members included in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have invited them for questioning.

“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission,” Velasco said. AAC

Maynilad defers pipe realignment activity, reschedules water service interruption

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  Maynilad Water Services Incorporated (Maynilad) will defer its scheduled pipe realignment activity along Sobriedad Street corner Cristobal Street in Manila that was initially set for October 25 to 28.

The new time frame for the pipe realignment activity is from October 29 to November 1.

Maynilad said the pipe realignment activity is in preparation for the flood control project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The water concessionaire said that the setting of new schedule was prompted by requests from residents in areas in Manila and Cavite that will be affected by the water service interruption as a result of the said activity.

Affected residents have requested that they be given more time to store enough water and prepare for the service interruption.

“Kami ay nakipag-ugnayan sa DPWH at MWSS ukol sa nasabing mga request, at napagdesisyunan na iurong ng bahagya ang implementasyon nito,” Maynilad said.

Maynilad added that except for the schedule, affected areas of the water service interruption remain the same.

For complete list of schedule of water service interruption, click here. —/mbmf

DPWH to conduct road reblocking until October 25

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will conduct road reblocking in some areas in Metro Manila from October 22 to October 25.

The DPWH will begin its weekend road reblocking at 11:00 p.m. on October 22 until 5:00 a.m. of October 25.

The following areas will be closed:

1. España Boulevard (from Extramadura St. to M. Dela Fuente St.)

2. C.P Garcia Francisco St. to Aguinaldo St. (2nd lane from sidewalk)

3. EDSA Tramo Flyover Aurora Blvd. (Tramo Off Ramp), Pasay City

4. EDSA Quezon City before Anapolis to before Boni Serrano flyover Northbound (2nd lane from sidewalk)

Motorists are advised to take alternate routes to avoid inconvenience. AAC

Duterte backs call for Ombudsman probe on Pharmally issue

Maris Federez   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte supports a call for the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation on the government’s alleged anomalous procurement of pandemic supplies.

The president was referring to the appeal of the Philippine College of Physicians for the Ombudsman to file appropriate cases against all those accountable in the controversial multibillion-peso deals between the government and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

“We welcome the call of the Philippine College of Physicians that this matter should be immediately given to our courts and the Ombudsman. We have been saying this for the longest time and we all know that the Senate cannot prosecute. Mabuti pa ang mga doktor alam at naintindihan nila,” Duterte said.

“File cases is the right way to go. Stop using this issue in aid of election. Problema kasi sa Senate natin trying hard maghanap ng mga issue na may nangungurakot o kaya may nagkakapera,” he added.

The chief executive stated that, to date, the Senate Blue Ribbon committee has yet to build a case out of the hearings it has conducted, pointing out that that the said government deal was consistent with Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One-Act.

“And so we go back now to what has been established many times, walang overpricing […} legal ang naging proseso ng pagbili, according to what has been provided by Bayanihan 1. Na-deliver lahat at binayaran nang pagkatapos na-deliver,” the president insisted.

Duterte also dared the Senate to bring the matter to the proper courts.

“And if you think that you have identified companies with tax issues, then file the appropriate cases. Matagal na naman namin sinasabi, kasuhan niyo ang mga dapat kasuhan. Lahat naman talaga dapat magbayad ng buwis at kung kailangan magbayad, singilan para magbayad iyong may mga atraso sa gobyerno kagaya ni Senator Gordon,” Duterte said.

“Eh you call my memorandum ‘stupid?’ Well, I challenge you: bring your arguments to the proper court and I will answer you,” he further stated.

The president also slammed Senator Richard Gordon for threatening to cut the budget of the executive department if the officials will not attend the Blue Ribbon’s hearings, calling it a blatant abuse of power.

“You threaten the budget of different agencies of the Executive because the officials refuse to attend to your hearings. Ito ‘yung mga pang-abuso talaga itong masabi ko sa gobyerno — sa gobyerno ‘pag ka demokrasya, itong separation of powers, co-equal and everything; and they threatened to paralyze government,” Duterte said.

“I challenge you, do it. ‘Pag ka ‘yung mga hearing reduce the budget by one third, hinahamon ko kayo, gawain ninyo ‘yan,” he added. —/mbmf

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