Press Release
November 8, 2010


The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will no longer conduct investigations on the controversial P18.5 billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project (LLRP) following the pronouncement of President Noynoy Aquino that the government will not push through with it.

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee said it is already pointless to conduct an investigation when the President himself declared his disapproval to proceed with the dredging of the Laguna Lake.

"Early on we indicated our intention to conduct an inquiry because of the number of issues hounding the project and the rejections of some sectors in pursuing with the rehabilitation. Foremost of which is the issue that it was tainted by graft and corruption from the very beginning. Therefore, it is just prudent on my part, on the part of my Committee, to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation so that this government and the public may be enlightened given the huge amount involved in the project," Guingona said.

"But with the recent development, there is no point in subjecting the dredging project to a Senate investigation since the project will no longer push through. Instead, the Blue Ribbon Committee will start hearing in the coming weeks on yet another contentious issues which are the Wawa Dam and the Philweb contract with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)," Guingona said.

Guingona added that the Kilusang Lawa Kalikasan (KLK), an environmental group who has been actively campaigning for the immediate implementation of the said project and has recently scored him for subjecting the project into an inquiry, must not agonize anymore on the impending Senate investigation.

In several news articles recently, the President has found it pointless to spend P18.5 billion for the dredging of the Laguna Lake when the project presentation revealed that the dredged material would simply be dumped into another part of the lake instead of preventing the lake water level from rising and flooding nearby areas.

KLK, on the other hand, has been pleading to pursue with the rehabilitation project saying that cleaner Laguna Lake would provide better environmental and economic opportunities for the fishermen and people from two Provinces such as Laguna and Rizal. They likewise underscored the project study undertaken by the Belgian firm, Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon (BDC) and asserted the validity of the agreement established a long time ago.

"We recognize the vital role of the KLK in voicing issues concerning the benefits of the project most especially to the fishermen and residents of Laguna and Rizal provinces and we appreciate KLK's vigilance and active participation in advancing the interest of the residents of both provinces. However, it is inappropriate for a legislator to be accused by this organization of delaying the project implementation and condemning the wisdom and intent of the Blue Ribbon Committee in conducting an investigation," Guingona added.

"Any project entered into and is found to be disadvantageous to the government and to the public must be subjected to intense scrutiny most especially if it involves taxpayer's money," Guingona stressed.

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