Sandiganbayan junks graft case vs. DPWH exec

The Sandiganbayan acquitted Director III of Legal Services of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Atty. Oscar Dominguez Abundo in the graft case.

Based on the decision issued by Sandiganba-yan Sixth Division Presiding Justice Amparo Ca-botaje-Tang on December 4, 2020, it is stated that the prosecution failed to prove that Abundo favored the release of funds for General Santos City-Koronadal Road and favored the family of Mohamad Bin Abdurasak.

Abundo was charged with violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly releasing funds and paying more than P24 million for a wrong road project in 2001. However, it appeared that there were confusions, and Abundo immediately informed then DPWH secretary Sec. Simeon Datumanong.

The decision states that Mohamad Bin Abdurasak’s family has the right to be paid in accordance with the process and documents submitted, although there was confusion or a mistake in the name of the road project.

Abundo is represented by the former IBP Governor for Greater Atty. Jose Icaonapo, Jr. and Atty. Edepigo Litong of Icaonapo Litong Geromo and Associates Law Office.

Corruption in DPWH

Last month, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra revealed that many of the complaints received by the mega  against investigating  in the government involved DPWH.

Guevarra earlier included DPWH in the top five agencies to be prioritized in the investigation, alongside the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Registration Authority.

Meanwhile, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission () head Greco Belgica on Wednesday said there are “less than 12” congressmen included in their list of officials involved in  .

Belgica said these House members, who he did not name, should face formal investigation.

During the Senate deliberations, Senator Panfilo Lacson also raised concerns over the double allocation worth P6.832 billion in the proposed 2021 national budget of the DPWH budget.

Lacson added he discovered double appropriations in the following proposed projects:

  • Kennon Road to Bypass Road Baguio City (P53 million)
  • Iguig Bypass Road in Cagayan (P51.9 million)
  • Balagtas Flyover in Batangas City (P166.3 million)
  • MPB site development in Barangay Carmay East in Rosales, Pangasinan (P177.5 million)
  • Convention center in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental (P174.3 million)