Senate won’t probe Arroyo’s Bridge Program on Monday-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
SENATORS will not yet investigate the alleged overpricing of the P111-billion Bridge Program of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because of the two-week legislative break.
The Senate Blue Ribbon committee chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona III was supposed to hold hearings beginning Monday but some senators already had prior engagements, according to Senator Sergio Osmeña III, a member of the committee that called for the probe.
“There’s no quorum. We are on a break. Most (senators) went to their provinces because the filing of certificates of candidacy (for those running in 2013) is from October 1 to 5. I will reschedule it for October 9, Tuesday,” Osmeña said in a text message to Sun.Star.
The Senate will resume its sessions on October 8.
Earlier, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said Arroyo may skip the probe because of inter-parliamentary courtesy, but Osmeña noted that in the past, some members of the House of Representatives dragged into controversies went to the Senate to clear their names.
Last week, Osmeña called for an investigation on the project that allegedly allowed Arroyo and other officials to pad prices of materials by 16 percent to 21 percent of the total project cost or roughly P20 billion.
The senator said the previous administration erred when it pushed for the construction of steel bridges, which are more expensive to maintain than the concrete ones. The project was also allegedly done without public bidding.
"Mrs. Arroyo must explain to the Filipino people these very anomalous series of contracts that they forged with foreign companies. She and her cohorts could be held liable for plunder because this involves P111 billion in people's money," he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)