P420M spent on 'anomalous' Palawan road projects

Posted at 10/22/12 9:17 PM

MANILA - Hundreds of millions of pesos worth of public funds have been spent on allegedly anomalous road projects in Palawan, according to a Catholic Church official.

One road in Bataraza, Palawan, cost P20 million per 6 kilometers to build. However, many of its portions are no longer passable.

The road is part of the 21 projects worth P420 million under former congressman and now Palawan Governor Baham Mitra.

The funds were sourced from the taxes from the Malampaya natural gas projects in the sea off Palawan.

Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa said the Commission on Audit and the National Bureau of Investigation have themselves said that the road project is full of anomalies.

Arigo decribed the questioned projects as of "plunderous proportion" because of the amount of money involved.

His statement is supported by Mika Ortega, a daughter of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega.

The younger Ortega, who is spokesperson of Kilusang Love Malampaya, said damaged portions of one road project were also covered up using public funds again from another source.

Mitra, however, said the blame lies on the Department of Public Works and Highways.

He said the projects and funds were implemented by DPWH. "Sinunod lang po natin yung ating medium-term development plan," he said.

Mitra believes the allegations against him are politically motivated.

ABS-CBN News tried to talk officials from the DPWH in Palawan, but all declined. - with a report from ANC