Senate to probe P8.7B RROW ‘scam’ in GSC

The Senate blue ribbon committee will resume here on Friday, March 16, its investigation into the alleged P8.7-billion road right-of-way (RROW) “scam” in the area.

Dominador Lagare III, supervising legislative officer of the office of Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, said Monday four senators have already confirmed to attend the scheduled Senate hearing at the city council’s session hall.

He said these are senators Vicente Sotto III, Juan Edgardo Angara, Gregorio Honasan and Pacquiao.

Senate blue ribbon committee chair Senator Richard Gordon, has yet to confirm his attendance as of Monday, he said.

The office of Senator Pacquiao, who initiated the conduct of the Senate inquiry on the RROW controversy last year, has been coordinating the preparations for the senate inquiry.

The initial hearing, which was held at the Senate, was facilitated by the committee on public works chaired by Pacquiao.

“If Senator Gordon will not be available, Senator Pacquiao will preside over the hearing,” Lagare said in an interview over radio station Brigada News FM.

Lagare, a former city councilor here, said they have finalized the preparations for the Senate hearing, which will be aired live on national television and Internet streaming.

He said among the invited resource persons are officials of the city assessor’s office and the registry of deeds as well as regional and national officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The “scam’s” whistle blower Roberto Catapang Jr., who hails from the city, has confirmed to attend the hearing, he said.

Lagare said Pacquiao pushed for the conduct of the Senate hearing here since the controversy happened in the city and involved individuals as well as offices based in the area.(MINDANEWS)