Initial investigation by the Andaya committee, along with the public accounts committee of House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, showed that Bulacan-based CT Leoncio is merely a “dummy” of Aremar, whose owners are in-laws of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
Ernie Penaredondo/File
AMLC aid sought in flood fund scam probe
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The rules committee of the House of Representatives is seeking the assistance of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) after bank records showed a sub-contractor received at least P70 million in funds relating to the multibillion-peso flood control fund scam. 

“With this evidence, I am inclined to seek the help of the AMLC in the House investigation. I will request for all bank transactions of CT Leoncio and Aremar Construction Co.,” House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., panel chairman, said. 

Initial investigation by the Andaya committee, along with the public accounts committee of House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, showed that Bulacan-based CT Leoncio is merely a “dummy” of Aremar, whose owners are in-laws of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Leoncio won the bid, including projects in Sorsogon where Diokno’s in-laws Vice Gov. Esther Hamor and her mayor-husband Edwin in Casiguran hold public office, but a paper trail indicated proceeds of the project funds went to Aremar, the real proponent. 

The Hamors are in-laws of Diokno’s daughter Charlotte Justine who is married to Esther’s son Romeo Sicat Jr. by a previous marriage. The Department of Budget and Management chief, however, issued a blanket denial, saying he does not interfere in their affairs. 

“The deposit slips clearly indicate that these are proceeds from DPWH contracts, none of which Aremar won through bidding,” Andaya revealed.

“At least P70 million worth of kickbacks were deposited to the bank account of Aremar by their dummy contractors,” he added. 

Andaya is hoping that the officials of AMLC can help the House committee identify who really benefited from the public funds that found their way to Aremar Construction and its dummy corporations, referring to “five deposit slips” bearing various dates. 

The Andaya-Suarez joint committee will be resuming its hearing tomorrow. 

The combined P213-billion flood-control projects in the 2017 and 2018 national budget, and the P119 billion more that has yet to be approved this year, are actually worse than the P10-billion scam of “pork barrel queen” Janet Lim-Napoles, according to opposition lawmakers. 

“The pork barrel scam of Napoles is just a petty cash transaction compared with this flood fund scam,” Suarez said, as he called on the embattled Cabinet member to come clean on the issue following his refusal to honor a House subpoena. 

“We are reminding Secretary Diokno that we have an El Niño this year,” he said with sarcasm, refuting the climate change “spin” he made when faced with nagging questions on why there has been a surge of flood-control projects in the national budget. 

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL FLOOD CONTROL FUND SCAM
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