SUMMARY OF CHARGES AND LAWS VIOLATED BY SENATE PRESIDENT VILLAR
Conflict of interest
ACTS CONSTITUTING CHARGES:
1. SP Villar caused the diversion of C-5 Road Extension project to pass through the properties owned by Villar’s corporations. (EVIDENCE: Project Profile)
2. At least 12 properties of Villar’s corporations with an aggregate area of more than two hectares were bought by the government as roads right of way in the project Villar diverted. (EVIDENCE: List of affected lots)
3. Villar negotiated with the government for the sale of the properties in the project he proposed. (EVIDENCE: Project Profile states “The city government of Las Piñas together with the Staff from the Office of the proponent have negotiated the lot with owners affected by the RROW.”)
4. Properties of Villar’s corporations were bought at a grossly overpriced amount. For example, property of Brittany Corporation (a corporation controlled by Villar) was bought for P15,000/square meter while adjacent property owned by the Plaza family was bought for only P4,000/square meter. (EVIDENCE: Deed of sale of Brittany and RP, Deed of sale of Plaza and RP, BIR zonal valuation, tax declaration)
4. Villar’s PDAF/pork barrel was used to purchase roads right of way (as shown by the DBM allocation to Villar’s PDAF for the construction of the C-5 Road extension, including purchase of right of way). (EVIDENCE: DBM PDAF release)
5. Villar connived with Masaito Development Corporation to grossly overprice the sale of Masaito’s property to the government for right of way in the staggering amount f P30,000 per square meter.”
Art. VI, Sec. 14, Constitution prohibiting any senator from, directly or indirectly, being interested financially in any government contract during his term of office.
Art. VI, Sec. 12, Constitution requiring all members of Congress to notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation.
Art. 7(a), Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees prohibits public officials from having any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office.
|By Efren L. Danao, Senior Reporter
Monday, May 18, 2009
When the Senate Committee of the Whole resumes this morning its hearing on the conflict-of-interest case filed against Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar by Sen. Jamby Madrigal, it is back to square one with the minority refusing to take part in the proceedings.
The Senate has constituted itself into the Committee of the Whole precisely to ensure that the minority would participate in the hearing of the case.
But even without the presence of the minority, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has moved to proceed with the twice-a-week hearing of the case for as long as there is a quorum.
Under the rules adopted by the Senate Committee of the Whole, the presence of two senators is enough to constitute a quorum. The majority has rejected the proposal of the minority to peg the quorum at one-half plus one of all members because of the difficulty of meeting that requirement.
Sen. Joker Arroyo appealed in vain for the higher quorum requirement. He said that since the senators will be judging the honor and future of a colleague, they should attend all hearings.
Enrile had warned that Villar would be greatly disadvantaged should he refuse to participate because the Committee would only consider the side of Madrigal that is given under oath. He said that the Committee would not give any cognizance to statements of Villar in his defense outside the committee because these are not made under oath.
The general counsel of the committee will present at the hearing today a summary of the supposed evidence and documents submitted by lawyer Ernesto Francisco, Madrigal’s counsel, at the preliminary inquiry of the case last Thursday.
Francisco claimed they could prove that Villar caused the diversion of the C-5 Road extension project to pass through the properties of his corporations, “thus wasting P1.2 billion already paid for Right of Way.”
Villa later replied in a press conference that the charge of “realignment” would be dismissed outright if they acknowledge that two separate projects are involved—the C-5 road extension project and the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway project of the Toll Regulatory Board and implemented by the UEM-Mara Philippines.
“The P1.2 billion was at the toll road, a private project, which could not be diverted. The C-5 road extension, free to the public, followed the original route except for the location of one bridge,” he said.
He added that the “slight” shift in the centerline of the said bridge was made upon request of the Light Rail Transit Authority that had plans of using the route also.
“There was no bending of the route. What was bent was the truth,” Villar said
Madrigal’s lawyer also claimed that Villar’s property was paid P30,000 per square meter while a nearby property belonging to Rep. Democrito Plaza 2nd of Agusan del Sur was paid only P4,000 per square meter. He charged that Villar “secretly connived with Masaito Development Corp. in 2004 to grossly overprice the sale of Masaito’s property to the government for right of way in the staggering amount f P30,000 per square meter.”
“He demanded that the overprice be directly paid to him and even put this provision in writing,” Francisco said.
Villar said that the P30,000 referred to a 1,400-square meter lot located near the SM mall and alongside Sucat Road. He said that considering its location, the price of P30,000 per square meter was even low.
“I doubt if you could buy the same lot for P30,000 per square meter,” he added.
He said that the lot of Plaza valued at P4,000 per square meter was in the interior, far from the 1,400 square meter lot.
He contended that no real estate developer wants public road to pass through his or her property because this would lower its price. He declared that anybody who would want to build a public road pass on any Ayala property would be rejected.
Villar, however, would not say part of his property was traversed by the C-5 road extension project. He said he still had to consult with his lawyers about this.
Madrigal’s complaint also included the alleged double insertion of P200 million for the C-5 road extension project by Villar in the 2008 budget. Villar said this was already investigated by the Senate Committee on Finance, which found no anomaly.
If adjudged guilty by the Senate Committee of the Whole, Villar could be reprimanded, suspended or ousted. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is needed to suspend or oust a senator.
Villar said he is prepared for whatever decisions the Senate has in store for him.