SENATOR JV Ejercito has expressed suspicion that a mafia-like group could be behind the alleged corruption in the implementation of government housing programs for victims of natural and man-made calamities.
“The presence of a mafia-like gang is not remote because wrongdoings in projects like housing will not happen without the collusion and manipulation of erring officials and cheating contractors,” he said in a statement.
Ejercito is expected to grill on May 21, in an investigation into the alleged irregularities, National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalda Jr., NHA-Visayas Area Manager Grace Guevarra, NHA-Eastern Visayas Regional Manager Rizalde Mediavillo, NHA-Zamboanga City District Manager Al-Khwarizmi Indanan, and NHA-Mindanao Area Manager Ma. Alma Valenciano.
Among the invited developers were Christopher Morales of Performance Builders and Dev’t Corp. for Knightsridge Residences and Crisanto Garcia of C. S. Garcia Construction for New Hope Village, both housing projects in Tacloban for typhoon “Yolanda” victims; Leonardo Nocum of One Dynamic Three Realty Dev’t Corp. for the Cateel Davao Oriental project for typhoon “Pablo” victims and Joerge Lagumbay of Jorvivs Construction for Lumbia Heights, Cagayan de Oro City project for typhoon “Sendong” victims; and Henry Lim of HGL Development Corp. for Valle Vista Phase 4, Zamboanga City project for “Zamboanga siege” victims.
“Kung talagang may sabwatan, we need to unmask these corrupt officials and crooked developers. Parang mafia na tahimik dahil nakikinabang sa iligal na gawa,” Ejercito said. His housing committee will spearhead the Senate probe.
Last month, Ejercito saw for himself “Yolanda” housing units constructed with sub-standard materials as well as flood-prone and landslide-prone relocation sites in Tacloban City.