JV: Let’s un­mask ‘mafia’ in hous­ing

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA

The Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Ur­ban Plan­ning, Hous­ing and Re­set­tle­ment will hold a hear­ing on Mon­day next week to look into the re­ported ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in some of the gov­ern­ment hous­ing projects that are sup­posed to help dis­placed fam­i­lies dur­ing ty­phoons and man-made calami­ties.

Yes­ter­day, Se­na­tor Joseph Vic­tor “JV” Ejercito, who chairs the com­mit­tee, said he sus­pects there is a mafia-like group op­er­at­ing be­hind gov­ern­ment hous­ing projects for typhoon vic­tims that is why some of these are sub­stan­dard.

Ejercito said he would per­son­ally ask these de­vel­op­ers tapped by the gov­ern­ment to build re­set­tle­ment houses for the vic­tims to as­cer­tain their pos­si­ble li­a­bil­i­ties over re­ported ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in these hous­ing projects. The in­quiry will be held on Mon­day, May 21.

“The pres­ence of a mafia-like gang is not re­mote be­cause wrong­do­ings in projects like hous­ing will not hap­pen with­out the col­lu­sion and ma­nip­u­la­tion of erring of­fi­cials and cheat­ing con­trac­tors,” Ejercito said.

He iden­ti­fied those in­vited to at­tend the probe as Na­tional Hous­ing Au­thor­ity (NHA) Gen­eral Man­ager Marcelino Es­calda Jr.; NHA-Visayas Area Man­ager Grace Gue­varra; NHA-Eastern Visayas Re­gional Man­ager Rizalde Me­di­av­illo; NHA-Zam­boanga City Dis­trict Man­ager Al-Kh­warizmi In­danan; and NHA-Min­danao Area Man­ager Ma. Alma Va­len­ciano.

Pri­vate de­vel­op­ers and con­trac­tors are also in­vited to the hear­ing.

“Kung tala­gang may sab­watan, we need to un­mask these cor­rupt of­fi­cials and crooked de­vel­op­ers,” said Ejercito.

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