A former Department of Public Works and Highways secretary has denied involvement in the conspiracy to defraud the government of P8.7-billion in road-right-of-way payment.
Rogelio Singson then DPWH head, assured that the department only paid claimants in General Santos/Region XII that submitted titles that were properly authenticated and re-validated by the Land Registration Authority for roads construction of which were started sometime in 1990s and with some partial payments before July 2010.
“I am not a corrupt government official and I am not involved in any conspiracy or in connivance with anyone to defraud government of its limited resources in the payment of the Right of Way claims. I have served government in different capacities under different administrations with dedication, dignity and honor. I deny vehemently any involvement in the complaint filed against me by the Department of Justice concerning the General Santos ROW scam,” he said in a statement.
Singson said he exerted extra due diligence and the various IROW regional and Central Office/Legal Service of DPWH conducted careful validation to ensure authenticity and genuineness of titles and followed the prescribed guidelines for the validation & evaluation of Infrastructure Right of Way claims of DPWH.
“Obviously, based on their own subsequent investigations, LRA has a huge problem with their internal process of title issuances, particularly in the case of the General Santos titles. DPWH has no role whatsoever in the issuance of titles. This is solely an LRA responsibility from the regional Registry of Deeds to LRA Central Office,” he said.
The former DPWH chief added that for just compensation, DPWH partially paid on the basis of the BIR certified zonal valuation and not based on the Provincial/City Assessment Committee valuation which is higher than the BIR zonal valuation.
During Thursday’s hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the RROW payment scam, committee head, Senator Richard J. Gordon called on the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to intensify the manhunt for Nelson Ti, alleged financier of the syndicate that has defrauded the government of P8.7-billion in RROW payments
Gordon made the call after Ti continued to ignore the Blue Ribbon’s summons to attend the hearings.
Ti had been tagged as the financier who provides funds to advance the payments to claimants and to finance the processing of their claims. He is said to be a close friend of Eldon Cruz, husband of former President Benigno Aquino III’s sister, Ballsy or Maria Elena.
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.