Rule on plunder case vs PEA execs, ombudsman urged

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A group calling itself the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters yesterday urged the Office of the Ombudsman to decide on the plunder complaint the UFCC filed against officials of the Public Estates Authority (PEA) now Philippine Reclamation Authority over the supposedly illegal sale of reclaimed land to the Manila Bay Development Corp. (MBDC) in 1988.

Rodolfo Javellana Jr., the group’s lead convenor, claimed that the anti-graft agency has been sitting on the case for four years.

?“This action by the Office of the Ombudsman is exasperating,” Javellana said in a statement.

He expressed hope that the ombudsman would rule on the case against the PEA officials under the Duterte administration.

The UFCC accused the PEA and MBDC officials of allegedly conspiring to shortchange the government in the sale of 410,467-square meters of undeveloped land along Roxas Boulevard for P427.037 million on Aug. 23, 1988. The value of the land at the time was P41 billion.

The group filed the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on July 4, 2017.

Javellana claimed that the PEA-MBDC deal violated Article XII, Section 3 of the Constitution, which prohibits private corporations from holding alienable lands of public domain except through lease.

He said there was no formal declaration by the government that the reclaimed land was disposable, making the sale illegal.



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