LUCENA CITY — Quezon Rep. Angelina ‘Helen’ Tan assailed the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) for linking her name to alleged corruption regarding a botched up project by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which was cited by President Rodrigo Duterte in his latest “Talk to the Nation”.
Tan said her inclusion in the list of lawmakers involved in corruption is not only derogatory but also prejudicial as it holds no water due to the lack of evidence—a fact which was also pointed out by the President in the same speech.
The lady solon said she is deeply saddened that such allegation exists.
Duterte in his public address cited an “anomalous national road project in Quezon Province — a newly-constructed road that has not been open for public use was already broken at the onset of storm. It looks like beyond repair“.
“This baseless accusation stems from an infrastructure project that I had spearheaded in 2016, the Gumaca Bypass Road,” said Tan.
Tan added the P800-million project was designed primarily “to save motorists travel time in Gumaca, Quezon, decongest heavy traffic in the area, stimulate local economic growth, encourage investors that would create jobs in the locality and improve the lives of my constituents.”
The lady solon said the landmark project aims to fast track economic growth in nearby provinces by improving travel time through the said road project, such as those traversing the Manila-Bicol route and vice versa.
She said while the road has yet to be paved, a section of it is already being utilized by motorists as an alternate route to avoid the heavy traffic in the town of Gumaca.
“I had been very optimistic that this project would be completed within the five-year timeframe stipulated in the contract. I had also been diligent in ensuring that the project—from its conception to the release of funds—went through its proper course, making sure that the project will directly benefit my constituents and the neighboring provinces“, she said.
And as proof, the lawmaker said even the DPWH cited the said project in their official website as part of the agency’s deliverables. Had there been issues regarding its construction and implementation, she emphasized that it should be DPWH’s responsibility being the sole agency mandated to conduct all construction operations of public infrastructure of the state.
It is a fact, according to Tan that the project had been derailed due to the ongoing pandemic and even more so with the onslaught of typhoons that resulted in massive flooding in the region—something that she no longer has control.
“It is hard not to feel dismayed and powerless with the sudden turn of fortuitous events, especially for my constituents who had been equally hopeful to the opportunities this project might bring to the locality. And as the duly elected representative of the 4th District of Quezon, it is my duty to address their most pressing concerns and offer solutions to the best of my ability,” she explained.
The House Committee on Health chair lamented that the inclusion of her name in the report released by the PACC, despite the lack of evidence, is not only malicious but also prejudicial, especially that the issue involves alleged corruption and conspiracy with DPWH.
Despite the accusation of PACC to besmirch her reputation, Tan said she would like to thank the President for mentioning with caution that the accusations are bereft of evidence and are merely grounded on speculations.
She also dared PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica to come to Gumaca and visit the project, if they are serious in their campaign against corruption, saying the investigating body should not rely on an anonymous complaint.
For her parting statement, Tan said that to clarify and put an end to this issue, she is very much willing to submit herself and cooperate with the designated authorities conducting the investigation on this matter.
“As a public official, and a responsible citizen, it is my duty to be transparent and to be accountable to my constituents, especially on matters involving public interests“, she added.Publication Source : People's Tonight