Press Release
March 26, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said the Ombudsman's announcement that its fact-finding body has found evidence against 17 public works officials involved in a World Bank bidding mess is another sorry attempt to paint a picture that it is acting on widespread graft in the administration of President Gloria Mapacagal-Arroyo,

Roxas said the announcement actually confirmed that the Ombudsman has filed no charges yet against those involved in the bid rigging that allegedly included First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and several politicians.

As it is, the Ombudsman's action could be aimed only at influencing votes in the House of Representatives on the impeachment complaint filed against her, Roxas said. Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni's announcement only recommended the filing of graft charges by his boss, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is facing impeachment charges in Congress for failing to act on big graft cases pending in her office.

"Bakit ngayon lang? Bakit hindi noong una pa lang niyang narinig ang tungkol dito? (Why only now? Why not when the issue was first raised to her years back?)" he asked, recalling the revelation of WB Country Director Bert Hofman that the issue of rigged biddings in the country's road projects were first brought to the attention of Gutierrez in 2005.

"Kaya naman pala niyang umaksyon ng mabilis. Eh bakit ilang taon pang inamag ang kasong ito sa opisina niya? Dinedma niya ito ng napakatagal tapos bigla heto at may rekomendasyon na siya. May kinalaman ba dito ang impeachment na isinampa laban sa kanya sa Kamara? (We've seen she can act fast. Why then did she not act on this sooner? The case has formed cobwebs in her office! She ignored it for years and then suddenly, she's out with this recommendation. Has this anything to do with the impeachment pending at the House?)" he asked.

Various non-government and people's organizations led by former Senate President Jovito Salonga have filed an impeachment complaint against Gutierrez for alleged violation of the Constitution and breach of public trust with her deliberate inaction on controversial cases, like the WB bidding mess report, the P728 million fertilizer fund diversion scam, the NBN-ZTE bribery scam and the Euro Generals intelligence fund controversy.

News Latest News Feed