Several senators want to hold public officials involved in the P111-billion "bridge to nowhere" programs during the Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo administrations liable.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair, Senator Serge Osmeña, disclosed the probability of recommending graft and corruption charges against heads of agencies that implemented President's Bridge Program.
Osmeña issued the statement after his panel found out the Department of Interior and Local Government, and Department of Public Works and Highways awarded the projects without public bidding.
"That is (a violation of the) Anti-Graft Law,” Osmeña told reporters after committee hearing on the alleged anomalous bridge project in the Senate Tuesday.
"We will go down to the bottom of these contracts to show who benefitted from this," he promised, saying they will build up cases for “highly-padded” foreign-exchange deals.
Osmeña observed the supposed absence of due diligence in officials who implemented 1,589 bridge projects, around 500 of which are still not yet completed since construction started in 1992.
While foreign project funding obtained during the Ramos administration appear to be “legitimate grants,” the Senate official said evidence reveal that such projects were "manipulated" during the Arroyo administration.
He claimed that most projects were marked with cost overruns while foreign funding for the projects were converted to other denominations to earn profit on the side.
The veteran senator noted that other departments like Department of Finance and National Economic Development Authority also gave "undue advantage" to favor certain contractors.
He revealed other implementing agencies such as Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Transportation and Communications were too lax in ensuring that the public were not put at a disadvatage when they implemented the billions worth of bridge project.
Taiwan on Saturday protested to the Philippines for sending naval ships to disputed South China Sea islands in the latest diplomatic spat between the two governments.