Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga on Sunday urged the National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate to conduct a parallel probe of the supposed massive corruption at the Department of Public Works and Highways.
He said the NBI and the Senate were both in a better position to initiate a credible investigation into the matter.
“Let the axe fall where it may. The NBI can pursue a case buildup against the people behind the systemic and systematic corruption at the DPWH,” Barzaga said.
“Some senators who have been talking about the huge lump-sum appropriations in the DPWH budget for next year could help shed light on President Rodrigo Duterte’s complaint by conducting a probe on the matter.
“This may serve as an opportunity for the senators to exercise their legislative function and draw inputs for a possible investigation on the matter similar to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s investigation.”
The President's statement on the alleged corruption at the department came after Senators Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson took a swipe at it for over P300 billion in lump-sum appropriations embedded in the agency’s proposed P667.3-billion budget for 2021.
“We need to help the President on his campaign to stamp out the deep-rooted corruption in all levels of governance. It’s really frustrating that this is continuing even in the middle of our pandemic battle,” Barzaga said.
“The continuing web of corruption at the DPWH has been jeopardizing the President’s Build, Build, Build program with alleged substandard infrastructure projects. No less than President Duterte has stated that no construction will proceed without money changing hands.”
He said the “investigation can be used by concerned DPWH officials and other personalities to present their sides on the serious corruption allegations made by the President and save the agency as an institution from further disgrace and embarrassment.”
But Barzaga vouched for Secretary Mark Villar’s untarnished image, saying “I have not heard of any irregularity on the DPWH secretary’s projects during his stint as congressman of Las Piñas City.”