A member of the House Independent Bloc on Saturday called for a congressional probe into the alleged irregular and anomalous arrangements in the competitive bidding for the Central Luzon Expressway and the new national prisons projects.
In House Resolution 2491, Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, member of the Bloc headed by senatorial bet and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, urged the House committees on public works and highways, and good government and public accountability, questioned the participation of the Obrascon Huerte Lain SA (OHL), an Spanish construction company, in the bidding for the Japanese ODA-funded Central Luzon Expressway project by the DPWH Bids and Awards Committee and by the DOJ- BAC in the New National Prisons Project in Nueva Ecija.
Dela Cruz, in the resolution, said he received reports the company has questionable track record, having been involved in a number of rigged bids and anomalous transactions in Spain, United States and Mexico.
He said the company had a long history of anomalous transactions and unethical practices involving big-ticket, high-impact infrastructure projects such as the bribery of Spanish and Mexican officials resulting in the resignation of the treasurer of the Spanish ruling party, Partido Popular.
“Other anomalous transactions include the termination of a number of multi-million dollar projects in Mexico including its reported exaggerated costing and spending for the Mexican toll road project, Cicuito Exterior Mexiquense, defrauding investors and the government of 20 billion Mexican pesos as well as its having engaged in unethical practices and misdeclaration of capacity to undertake the US$246-million Librameinto Norte Highway toll road project leading to the cancellation of the concession agreement,” Dela Cruz said.
OHL is exporting this kind of malpractice and odious behavior to the Philippines which may jeopardize the infrastructure development program of the country, he added.
“The documented information may have eluded the DPWH and DOJ BACs which, despite concerns raised by concerned quarters, proceeded to pre-qualify OHL presumably on the basis of its misrepresentations about its financial and technical ability to undertake the projects, and an opaque submission of historical performance in similar undertakings abroad,” dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz stressed the need for Congress to look into the matter to avoid the possibility of government and the Japanese funding agency, JBIC, in the case of the CLEX Project and in the case of the National Prisons Project which is listed as under the PPP program.
“Engaging the services of a decidedly unscrupulous and historically problematic operator should be prohibited and perhaps more importantly, ensure that our contracting and project development rules and operations are in accord with internationally accepted standards and good governance,” Dela Cruz said.