Gordon wants gov’t officials in RRoW charge sheet

Sen. Richard Gordon

Senator Richard J. Gordon has urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to include government officials involved in the road right-of-way (RRoW) scam in the original charge sheet covering other suspected fraudsters.

Gordon also denounced government officials who knowingly or unknowingly abetted the RRoW syndicates in tarnishing the integrity of the country’s Torrens title during the continuation of the Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the P8.7-billion RRoW payment scam on Friday.

Gordon, who heads the committee, asked NBI for a list of those already in the charge sheets and the charges filed.

“Ilan na ang kasong nai-file ninyo? Mayroon pa bang kailangan na hindi nasali doon? In the course of these hearings, nakikita ninyo ba kung sino pa ang pa-file-an? So magdadagdag tayo,” he said, noting that some officials have not exerted sufficient due diligence which would have prevented the government from being defrauded.

The senator accused some officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Registration Authority, Register of Deeds, and other agencies of giving in to the syndicates’ machinations in exchange for money.

“The road to progress will be difficult if these government officials put selfish gain above integrity and love for country. The cost of governance becomes very expensive. And we cannot rely on titles that are supposed to be protected by the LRA, protected by the Register of Deeds, protected by DPWH. The whole system collapsed. Why? It collapsed because of money. Because lahat naglalagay,” he said.

Earlier, Gordon recommended that the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice and the NBI conduct a lifestyle check on officials of government agencies involved in RRoW payment.

The Blue Ribbon has been investigating the RRoW payment scam in General Santos City. The modus operandi of the syndicate was to claim for just compensation of RRoW which are intended for rightful owners who were affected by national highway construction at General Santos City. The syndicates presented fake titles that are certified genuine by the LRA.

p: wjg