Mejorada slams Drilon for ‘lying’
Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) - December 5, 2014 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — “Lies and deception.” These were how former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada labelled the statement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the construction and development of the Iloilo Convention Center Phase 2 costs P200-million.

The P200 million was earmarked by the Department of Tourism, through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, said Mejorada. “Drilon lied to the Filipino people in making that kind of statement. He should stop deceiving the people.”

Mejorada said, “Drilon unashamedly distorted the facts when he claimed that the P200 million in public funds is intended for Phase 2 (of the ICC construction).”

On Wednesday, Mejorada submitted to the Senate a 16-page document and a copy of a deed of donation, which claimed that the cost of the project was pegged at only P200 million, and not P700 million.

Drilon rebutted that nothing in the deed of donation stated that the amount was the total cost of the building.

In a statement, Mejorada said there was nothing in the contract that speaks of a phase one or phase two for the project.

“The letter and spirit of the contract clearly spelled out its object: Rhe construction of a convention center, with Megaworld to contribute land while DOT was obliged to allocate P200 million to build it,” he said.

Further, Mejorada cited that Megaworld as donor imposed a condition that its proposed conceptual design be used, and based on this design, the funding requirements for the ICC would not exceed P200 million.

He also scored the role of the DPWH as a mere builder because of its technical capability to undertake infrastructure projects. “Construction of convention centers isn’t DPWH’s mandate,” he said.

“What is apparent to me is that Drilon saw an opportunity to use the ICC as a conduit for corruption using his PDAF and funds coming from the disbursement acceleration program. Everybody else saw a convention center; Drilon saw it as a tunnel underneath a bank vault,” Mejorada said.

In conclusion, he challenged Drilon to repeat his statement under oath before the Senate blue ribbon committee. (FREEMAN)

 

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DRILON ILOILO ILOILO CONVENTION CENTER PHASE MANUEL MEJORADA MEGAWORLD MEJORADA MILLION ON WEDNESDAY TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENTERPRISE ZONE AUTHORITY
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