Press Release
September 30, 2018


As the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee continued its investigation into the P8.7-billion road right-of-way payment scam, Senator Richard J. Gordon wanted officials and employees of government agencies involved in RROW payment to undergo lifestyle checks.

Gordon, committee chairman, suspecting that officials and employees of concerned government agencies could be involved in the conspiracy to defraud the government, said the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) should conduct lifestyle checks on some current and former officials of the agencies.

The agencies include the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Land Registration Authority, among others.

"I am convinced that the road right-of-way payment scam is perpetrated with the connivance of unscrupulous individuals from different agencies that has a role in RROW payment. That's why I am calling on the Office of the Ombudsman, the DOJ and the NBI to perform lifestyle checks on some officials, current and former, and some employees of these agencies who have a direct role in the transactions," the senator said.

The Right-of-Way Act mandates the government to provide just compensation for landowners whose properties were or will be used or affected by national infrastructure projects, such as the building of roads.

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.

Gordon has exposed during the investigation the syndicates' modus operandi of submitting fake titles which had already cost the government P255.55-million for nine parcels of land alone in General Santos City. He presented a table which showed that the sizes of the parcels of land covered by the titles that the claimants submitted, which the Land Registration Authority certified to be authentic and genuine, were jacked up several times over. The locations of the alleged properties were also in areas other than the locations indicated in the titles

"When you can no longer rely on one of the most important pillars of business and property ownership - the title, the Torrens title, if you cannot rely on that then nobody's going to come in and invest here, our commercial transactions would all be affected, people cannot pass on their property by way of sale or by way of inheritance. Mahirap na magpamana o magbenta, mahirap na mangutang sa bangko," he said.

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