The House of Representatives has adopted the report of its Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability that investigated the alleged large-scale road right-of-way scam in Central Mindanao and recommended the filing of charges against several public works officials and individuals.
In its report, the committee led by Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo of Camiguin said “there is a manifest showing of a pattern employed by the syndicate led by Ms. Wilma Mamburam and Nelson Ti in submitting fabricated documents and representing fictitious claimants or landowners,” and that “the participation of several DPWH Region XII officers, including former Regional Directors Subair S. Diron and Reynaldo Tamayo were instrumental in consummating their illegal scheme.”
Romualdo’s committee found that Diron and Tamayo approved 127 ROW claims filed by members of the syndicate amounting to at least P3.3 billion and that Tamayo continued to approve the disbursement of the fourth and fifth tranches of the payments for the same set of claims despite the red flags that had already been brought to his attention by the Commission on Audit through management Letters.
The Romualdo committee found out that Tamayo also “approved the verification, evaluation, and payment for new ROW claims amounting to more than P633 million filed by the same individuals in 2015-2016.”
In exchange for his approval, Tamayo, among other public officials, allegedly received 20 percent in commissions from the syndicate, witness Roberto Catapang Jr. claimed in his sworn statement.
The committee endorsed the filing of criminal charges against Mamburam, Ti, Dizon and Tamayo, former Assistant Regional Director Laureano Suan Jr., and all members of the Regional ROW Committee and Technical Working Groups.
The Romualdo committee further recommended the conduct of lifestyle checks on the public officials involved and their immediate families, as well as for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to investigate those officials to determine whether tax-evasion cases should be filed against them.
The committee likewise recommended a review of the DPWH rules and practices regarding the right-of-way claims to prevent similar illegal schemes from happening again.