Senate President Franklin Drilon’s accuser former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada admitted on Thursday that he has no evidence that the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) was overpriced. Moreover, he also confessed that he has no evidence of personalities benefiting from the alleged overpricing of the P700-million ICC.
“Mr. Chairman, as the Senate President said, I have to admit that right now there is no evidence because I have no subpoena powers; but there was paper trail that will bring us to conclusion that there was somebody orchestrating all this,” Mejorada said when asked by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara during the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Rappler reported, responding the questions of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Mejorada said his basis of computation for the alleged overprice is the “industry standard” of P30,000 per square meter cost of the project he had drawn from his usual research material as an “investigative journalist.”
On the other hand, when asked by Angara who may have earned from the alleged overprice, Mejorada said: “Hindi ko po malaman. Basta ang alam ko po may kumita dito (I do not know. What I know is someone profited from this).” Laughter was heard from the gallery, which was packed by supporters of the Senate President.
The former provincial administrator filed a complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against Drilon and other officials over what he alleged as overpriced construction of the ICC.
According to him, his research shows “big opportunities for corruption” for a supposedly “unseen hand” who orchestrated a “conspiracy” with government officials.
LOVELY HAZEL M. VALDE
LNU, ABCOM INTERN