Monday, March 8, 2010

Gordon hits Villar again; says Villar used position to amass wealth

By Dateline Philippines
Posted on Mar. 03, 2010 at 3:12pm |

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines — After revealing Villar tried to bribe him to leave the race, presidential candidate Sen. Richard Gordon claimed on Wednesday that Villar used his influence to build his real estate empire by obtaining money and loans from government financial institutions, which led to their financial bleeding.

Gordon said Villar was able to convince the late President Corazon Aquino to build socialized housing, “provided that the money would come from the GSIS (Government Service and Insurance System), SSS (Social Service System) and Pag-Ibig through the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation.”

Gordon said Villar would purportedly build houses using money obtained from the National Home Mortgage. “Babayaran na sila kapag napatunayan na may bahay [They will be paid when there is proof that there are houses]” Gordon said over dzMM radio.

Villar’s influence, Gordon claimed, allowed owners of Villar houses to gain easy access to loans provided by the National Home Mortgage.

Quoting Senate records, Gordon said that to date, about 53,000 owners of Villar houses purportedly borrowed money from the National Home Mortgage and Financing Corporation. Of these, “about 35% did not pay a single centavo; 60% paid but stopped their payments,” he added.

“In the meantime, ang gobyerno ang siyang may hawak ng utang ng owner na hindi pala kayang bumayad o hindi naman kaya kumpleto ang papel [government ends up owning the debt of the owner who turns out to be incapable of paying the debt or unable to complete documents],” Gordon said.

Gordon estimated the debt incurred by Villar’s two corporations, Camelia and Palmera, at P42 billion.

“Marami siyang bahay, siningil niya ang mga tao, mabilis na nakautang ang mga tao dahil speaker siya [He (Villar) has many housing projects, he made people pay for it, and these people were able to access loans with speed because he was House Speaker],” Gordon said.

Gordon made this new allegation after he also made public that an emissary from Villar’s camp reportedly asked him to walk out of the race and, in exchange, Villar would allegedly pay all of his campaign expenses.

Gordon said the emissary, a senator, came to him last January and asked him to join the “kudeta” against Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who steered the deliberation on Villar’s alleged use of his position to wangle favors for the C5 Road Extension Project.

Gordon said the emissary also asked him to withdraw his support for the committee report that found Villar culpable of engaging in unethical practices in connection with the C5 road controversy.

Gordon claimed Villar’s camp was trying to broker a transaction with him in an attempt to help stop the Senate from investigating the C5 controversy.

“This is not bribery. This is transaction. They want you to vote whom they ask you to vote, leave the race and pay your expenses,” he said.

The 84-page committee report prepared by Enrile demanded that Villar return about P6 billion for right of way and other dues he supposedly earned from properties that would benefit from the C5 extension.

Enrile earlier said Villar also bribed him.

Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, another Villar critic and fellow presidential candidate, said Villar supposedly proposed the construction of the Las Piñas-Paranaque Link Road, which connected the South Slip Road to Sucat Road to Quirino Avenue.

Two of Villar’s corporations, Golden Haven and Adelfa Properties, were along the proposed new road and were paid for the right of way.

Madrigal said Villar had not divested his shares in his firms when he moved for the construction of the link road and the realignment of the C5 road.

Villar is accused of influencing the Department of Public Works and Highway to divert the C5 extension through these properties.

During the deliberation for the 2008 General Appropriations Act, Villar allegedly inserted P200 million more in the funding of the portion of the C5 Road project, which had already been given budget appropriations.

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