Setting the records straight
Speech of Sen. Manny Villar on C-5 controversy
February 2, 2010
I stand before the Senate and the People of the Philippines in defense of my name, my honor, and dignity against my accusers in the so-called C5 controversy. To set the records straight and to prove to everybody na hindi ako duwag at hindi ako sinungaling. Wala pong duwag na taga-Tondo.
Ako’y dating mahirap; di ko ikinahihiya ang aking pinagmulan. Sa murang edad, nalaman ko agad na di ako kakain kung di ito pagpapawisan. Mula sa aking mga magulang – isang tindera at isang karaniwang empleyado – natutunan kong mabuhay nang marangal. Siyam kaming magkakapatid na itinataguyod sa malinis na pamamaraan.
Natatandaan ko pa noon, isang banig lang kami siyam, isang kulambo...
Ngunit taas-noong masasabi ko sa inyo na kahit na anong hirap ang dinanas namin, wala kaming inagawan, wala kaming inagrabyado. Wala sa dugo namin ang manloko o mandaya ng kapwa. Ang mga nakamit ko sa buhay ay aking pinagpaguran. Mula pa nung skwater ako sa Tondo, ang kinagisnan ko na ay magtrabaho. Kaya sa tulong ng Maykapal, ng pagsusumikap at ng sipag at tiyaga ay naiahon ko ang sarili ko mula sa kahirapan.
Wala akong minanang yaman. Hindi ako haciendero. Wala akong minana kundi kabutihang asal; ang lumingon sa pinanggalingan at tumulong sa mga nangangailangan.
Nung gumanda ang aking kapalaran, ninais kong suklian ang tadhana sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong sa mga kapuspalad at manilbihan sa mga nangangailangan. Natanto ko na iyon ang aking misyon sa buhay kung kayat ako’y nabiyayaan.
Ngayon, bagamat nais kong ipagpatuloy ang serbisyo publiko, pilit akong hinihila pababa ng aking mga katunggali sa pulitika. Sila’y nagmimistulang mga talangka.
Sabi nila ako ay masyado daw mayaman. San daw galing ang yaman ko? Pilit nilang nilalagyan ng malisya ang pag-ahon ko mula sa kahirapan. Magpapayaman pa daw ako pag nanalo. Babawiin ko daw ang ginagastos ko sa kampanya.
I can explain my wealth. I am the principal shareholder in a public company that I founded. From a small gravel and sand enterprise 30 years ago with but an old beaten up truck as its main asset, I have been able to grow it into a trustworthy, viable, and solid real estate company. Naging pinakamalaking homebuilder bago pa ako pumasok sa pulitika. In fact, nakapag-raise po kami ng pera at ako naman ay pinalad kahit papaano marami pong nag invest. Binenta ko parte ng aking kumpanya at malaki ang kinita namin doon. It is a matter of public record at pwede naman pong tignan kahit maski sino po.
In business circles, I have been known as the brown taipan. My company was already the largest in the industry sa murang pabahay, again bago pa ako pumasok sa pulitika.
Hindi ko kailangan ang P200 million na sinasabi nilang nakimkim ko sa proyekto ng C5 extension. Di pa sila nakuntento, pinalaki pa ito. Pagkatapos ng so-called investigation nila ay P6 billion na raw ang napunta sa akin. Nakakatawa sapagkat hindi pa na re-release ang nasabing P200 million. Pero minsan kung makarinig ako ng ibang kalaban akala mo ay binulsa ko ang P200 million and yet they know hindi naman ni-release yung pera na iyon.
Pangalawa, kung i-release man ito ay di dadaan sa kamay ko yan dahil ang DPWH ang implementing agency. Pero nililito po ang ating mga kababayan, kung magsalita binulsa P200 million. Paano binulsa e hindi naman ni-release ni hindi ko kilala yung contractor.
Uulitin ko po. Pulitika na naman ito.
Dalawang taon na po ang isyung ito. Hindi ko ubos-maisip kung bakit naggugugol po ang Senado ng ganito karaming oras upang ipilit sa taumbayan na ako ay magnanakaw.
Pilit na sisinira ang aking pangalan. Tinalakay nang napakaraming ulit na itong C5. Nadinig ko na ang mga akusasyon. Inihayag ko na ang aking saloobin at depensa nang napakaraming beses na din.
Walang makapagsasabi na hindi ako sumagot sa mga paratang sa Senado. Nandito kayong lahat noong ako ay nagsalita dito. Nagsalita na din akong mahigit daang-daang interview na ibingay ko sa media. Nandito po ang ating mga kasamahan sa media. Sa radio, print and television. Nagsalita na ako sa daang-daang mga forums ipinapaliwanag itong C-5 issue. Linagay ko ito sa website. We printed tens of thousands of pamphlets explaining the C-5 controversy. Nag-advertise kami sa aking hangarin na maipaliwanag sa tao ito diretso. Dinala ko ang mga journalists dito sa C-5, sa dalawang kalye doon. Wala akong nilihim tungkol sa aking partisipasyon sa marangal na proyektong ito.
Ako’y nananawagan na sana’y maging patas naman ang aking mga kasamahan sa Senado. Noon ko pang sinabi at pinatunayang wala akong kasalanan at walang anomalya at katiwalian sa C5. Wag po nating hayaan na maging kasangkapan ng pulitika ang napakagandang proyektong ito.
Subalit papaano makakakita ang nagbubulagbulagan? Pano makakarinig ang nagbibingibingihan? At ika nga, ang pinakamahirap gisingin ay ang nagtutulug-tulugan. At higit sa lahat, papano magkakaroon ng hustisya at katotohanan sa isang kasong may hatol na bago pa man litisin?
Mr. President, I was condemned without the benefit of a fair trial.
Alam ko namang hindi ako titigilan. Yan ang dahilan, Mr. President, kaya ayaw kong sumali sa sarswelang ito na ikinubli sa tawag na imbestigasyon. Ang isang boxer ba ay lalaban kung may decision na ang mga hurado?
Sa kagustuhan nilang sirain ako sa mata ng bayan, ang isang marangal at napakandang proyekto pa ang babaluktutin at gagamitin laban sa akin.
This is precisely what’s wrong with our country, Mr. President.
Ang mga gumagawa ng tama at kabutihan ay ang siya pang kinakastigo. Kung ganyan ang ipagpapatuloy natin, wala nang mangangahas mangarap at gumawa ng mabuti. Only those with vision, capability, and are strong-willed can be part of something like the C5 project – a project that shows the country is moving forward. While many of us who want to get elected promise progress for our country, C5 is that promise realized. It is there for everyone to benefit from and take advantage of and I am proud to be part of this project.
The construction of the road, which is meant to serve the people is far from complete. A day lost in the development of the C5 extension project is a day taken away from the people we are committed to serve. They need the road. They need our help. But some of the senators here have other needs – such as a need to embarrass me in public. They want to weaken my candidacy. They want me out of their way.
Nalulungkot ako na ito ay nagpapalayo sa atin mula sa sinumpaan nating trabaho sa Senado. Habang nagbabangayan ang mga senador ay may mga tao sa labas ng dating marangal na institusyon na ito na naghihirap. I am here today for the people who are not here in this room today. Kahit na magdamag tayong magdebate, sigurado tayong may kakainin sa ating pag-uwi ng bahay. Ngunit ang karamihan sa ating mahihirap na kababayan ay di pwedeng umupo lamang at maghintay matapos tayo. Kung di sila kakayod, wala silang kakainin.
For the record, Mr. President, I want to set the facts straight. The report of the committee of the whole – as submitted and read to the public last Monday – is most unfair to me. I believe it was so presented to deceive the people. It was meant to destroy my reputation.
Whatever the motives of my accusers, the report does not reflect the truth.
Wala pong katotohanan dito.
Wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project, at hindi po ako nakinabang. Sa mata ng Diyos, masasabi ko iyan na hindi ako nakinabang. Ito ay magandang proyekto. Mula simula hanggang huli, ang sinasabing imbestigasyon ay punung puno ng pulitika. Lahat ng aking mga kalalaban sa election ay nagimbento.
Sila’y nagluto ng isang kaso na kanilang pinalaki sa media.
Nung binato nila ito sa Ethics Committee at nalamang hindi sakop ng ethics ito, nagluto ng special set of rules para lang sa akin at in-apply retroactively -- in clear violation of our Constitution.
Sila mismo nag conduct ng hearings, at kung dati ay executive session dapat ay ginawa nilang publiko para lamang sa akin. An unprecedented 19 public hearings were staged to shame me. Napakaliwanag na pamumulitika lang. Gumawa sila ng kakaibang pamantayan para sa akin lang.
At nang lahat ng saksi ay nagsabi na wala akong kasalanan, nagluto na naman sila ng sariling desisyon.
Lutong Macau lahat ito, Mr. President. Lutong Macau mula simula hanggang katapusan.
Nung una, double insertion ang paratang. Nung nakitang di naman totoo at para sa dalawang proyekto naman pala yun, realignment naman ang banat. Nung napakita namin na dalawang kalye ito – isang toll road at isang surface road, dalawang kalye po yan, parang NLEX at Mac Arthur. Naging overpricing naman, nanganganak talaga e. Nung napakitang wala namang overpricing, conflict-of-interest naman. Napabulaanan ko yun at sa katunayan ay may ruling ang Department of Justice na walang conflict-of-interest.
Simple lang naman ang paliwanag e. Napaliwanag ko na ng simple dati pero tila walang naririnig. Kumbinsido na sila sa kasinungalingan nila.
For the record, Mr. President, the C5 Road Project is not just my own personal project though it is one I am proud to be associated with – all of these controversies notwithstanding. This is a project of the government implemented through the Department of Public Works and Highways. Renamed the President Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, the C5 Road was conceptualized as early as 1946, and runs from Manila Bay-Malolos-Caloocan-Quezon City-Taguig/Pateros-Paranaque-Las Piñas-Cavite. It is a 51-kilometer long thoroughfare starting from Manila Bay, and goes full circle to end likewise in Manila Bay.
Of the entire stretch, 32.5 kilometers are fully developed, covering Malabon and Caloocan going all the way to Quezon City-Taguig/Pateros-Paranaque-Las Piñas. As I am an ardent supporter of development, I have been pushing for the completion of the project.
I have emphasized in the past that the C5 Road Extension project would ease the worsening traffic problem common in the neighboring cities of Paranaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa, as well as the nearby towns of Cavite. Kita po natin yung grabeng trapik sa Coastal Road araw araw. Kawawa naman po ang mga taong sa Las Piñas, Cavite, Parañaque. Araw-araw grabe ang trapiko. And I have lived in Las Piñas for the most part of my life. I can attest to the severe traffic situation residents face there every day.
Even on weekends, it is almost impossible to exit BF Homes via its two main gates, the Alabang and Lopez gates, without experiencing at least 30 minutes of traffic. The Lopez gate, being nearest to the C5 Extension, is under frequent gridlock due to a large number of vehicles passing through BF Homes, which itself straddles the cities of Paranaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa.
May I also add that with the completion of the C5 road extension, as envisioned, travel time from northern areas to and from the industrial parks in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas will be shortened. This translates to fuel savings for motorists.
For this reason, I proposed an amendment in the form of additional budget amounting to P200 million for a certain portion of C5 –the flyover to be constructed in the Cavite Coastal Road.
May I enlighten you, fellow legislators, that this is an additional amount to the budget of the SAME project. Meaning, the total appropriation should have reflected P400 million in the GAA, instead of P200 million as earlier proposed. For your information, the proposed aggregate budget for the C-5 is placed at P4.2 billion.
To this end, allow me to bring to your attention the declarations made by Atty. Yolanda Doblon, Director General of the Legislative Budget and Research Monitoring Office (LBRMO).
In the hearing of October 6, 2009, Atty. Yolanda Doblon categorically said that there is no double insertion in the C-5 road project.
Again, I would like to repeat, reference is the TSN of October 6, 2009 public hearing of the Committee of the Whole, pages 128-136.
Of significance, let me bring to your attention too that I have no doubt that the DPWH knew and got the instruction correctly. In the public hearing of October 15, 2008, Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane was right in saying that the two 200 million pesos were allocated for two different sites, but they are still within the confines of the C5 road project. Hence, I insist it is for the same project (C5), albeit on different locations – the first being the Sucat road flyover, and second, the Coastal road.
The “double entry” or insertion of P200 million is not irregular because it covers two different – let me repeat, 2 different and separate segments of the C5 project.
“Insertion,” per se, or amendment, which is the appropriate parliamentary lexicon, is not illegal as it is a right commonly observed within the realm of policymaking to allow lawmakers to adjust the proposed annual budget by introducing appropriate amendments, with the public’s welfare in mind.
Wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project, at hindi po ako nakinabang. Pulitika lamang ito.
I Did Not Use Influence vis-à-vis the Project
According to the Committee Report, the Las Piñas-Paranaque Link Road Project and the DPWH C-5 Road Extension Project were made to pass through the properties of my corporations, instead of a straight alignment. It went further to say that the alignment of the C5 Road Extension segment of the Manila Cavite Toll Expressway Project (MCTEP) of the Toll Regulatory Board has to be changed just to accommodate the alignments of the Las Piñas Paranaque Link Road Project and the DPWH C5 Road Extension Project.
These are blatant lies, Mr. President. Kasinungalingan po ito.
I did not direct, or influence, the DPWH to have the C5 Project pass through my properties. The fact is that the conceptualization, alignment, planning and execution of the said project were all done by the DPWH.
If indeed there was any re-alignment of MCTEP, it only involved a “kilometer” of said alignment. Surely, such did not cause the MCTEP to be mothballed. There is no evidence that the supposed re-alignment resulted in MCTEP becoming unnecessary as to require it to be discontinued.
As to the alleged re-alignment of the C5 Road Extension Project, it was only a slight shifting of one bridge (Bridge No. 2) in the upstream direction in order not to create conflict with the proposed alignment of the LRT Line I South Extension Project. This slight shifting of Bridge No. 2 was at the request of LRTA; and did not involve my intervention or even a request from me.
As explained in the letter dated 15 October 2008, of DPWH Regional Director Roberto G. Lala, CESO III, to DPWH Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr.:
“The segment of C5 Project that is described hereto is from Sucat Road to Pres. Quirino Ave. (also known as Paranaque-Las Piñas Link Road)
The project was not re-routed as it followed the original route or alignment prepared by the DPWH-NCR except for the location of one bridge (Bridge No. 2) whose centerline was slightly shifted in the upstream direction in order not to create conflict with the proposed alignment of LRT Line I South Extension Project. This was made in attention to the request of LRTA to then NCR Regional Director Salvador A. Pleyto, per letter dated Feb. 23, 2001 copy attached marked as Annex I. But even with this slight change, the 30 meters road right-of-way was still maintained. Except for such shifting of the Bridge No. 2, no more modification was made from the original alignment up to its construction phase from Sucat Road to Pres. Quirino Avenue.”
It is noteworthy that at no time during the entire adjudicatory proceedings did the complainant and counsel ever present testimonial or documentary evidence to disprove the truth and veracity of this letter of DPWH Regional Director Lala.
Wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project, at hindi po ako nakinabang. This was all politics.
There is no corruption
They accused me of financially benefiting from the C5 transaction; that I made a pile of money out of it.
There is nothing farther from the truth, Mr. President.
It is common knowledge that the fund was impounded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), upon directions from President Gloria Arroyo herself. It means the fund has not been released by the DBM. So where is corruption there?
Ito ang nakakagulat. Naririnig ko sa radyo, 'Nasaan yung P200 million?' Hindi po ni-release yan. Yan ay nasa imahinasyon lamang ng ilang senador.
As regards those deeds of sale and payments made by DPWH to companies my family owned - in legal terms, the payments made are called just compensation. Properties were taken and so corresponding payments should be made.
I could not have possibly prevented the construction of the road. That is the government’s prerogative. But I cannot, in my conscience, sacrifice the interest of the general public because some of my companies’ properties will be affected.
Let me stress that as developers of real estate properties, the Villar companies could have, by themselves, constructed the road and earmarked some portions as exclusive in which case, the properties could have had higher values. Mas malaki sana ang kinita ng mga kumpanyang yan kung naging exclusive. But public interest demands that we open the properties and allow motorists and the commuting public to utilize the roads.
Besides, allow me to state that I am not a member of the Bicameral Conference that approved the 2008 budget. That is significant to prove that I did not dip my fingers or never exerted influence in the passage of said legislation.
More importantly, not having anything to do with the final disposition of my proposed amendments to the 2008 GAA, I cannot be accused of proposing the amendments in order to benefit my real estate companies.
The Senate’s role in the enactment of the GAA starts and ends with its proposing and approving amendments thereto. Once approved and signed into law by the President of the Philippines, the Senate or the Senators no longer have anything to do with the disposition or implementation of the GAA, which belongs solely to the implementing agencies of the Executive Department.
Above all, there is nothing from the evidence presented to even suggest that I ever intervened in the disposition or implementation of the 2008 GAA as to derive benefit for myself or my real estate companies to the detriment of the Filipino people.
On the contrary, the records show that other land owners in the same area of Las Piñas and Parañaque whose lands were also taken by the DPWH as right of way for the C5 Project were long paid ahead for their lands, while some of my companies to this day remain unpaid and have not even filed the requisite documents with the DPWH to facilitate payment. Hindi nga kami binayaran pero Ok na rin yun dahil kailangan ng bayan.
The C5 issue brought with it otherwise irrelevant matters, but I am compelled to answer anyway for they mischievously depict this humble representation as a scheming man – which I am definitely not.
There is an allegation that as a result of this undue advantage, the properties owned by the Villar companies are grossly overpriced. Allow me to state, for the record: zonal value is determined by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), not by senators, not by me.
There is absolutely no evidence that I ever interfered with the issuance by the BIR of the zonal valuation of the properties owned by my companies.
Sa mismong report, sinabi na 'There is no evidence to prove the direct participation of Senator Villar in the overpricing of such properties.'
Ito ay Page 83, Paragraph 1, verbatim:
“As to the valuation of the properties of Senator Villar’s corporations that were acquired for roads-right-of-way for the Las Piñas-Parañaque Link Road Project and the DPWH C-5 Road Extension Project, although there is no evidence to prove the direct participation of Senator Villar in the overpricing of such properties, it is fair and safe to assume that Senator Villar knew about the said overpricing as his corporation stood to gain from such transactions with the government and considering the closeness of Senator Villar to Engr. Adriano who was directly involved in these transactions.”
Samakatwid, ang ibig sabihin nito - sa hinaba-haba ng kanilang mga ebidensya, halos 127 yata, ang kanilang basehan lang ay "assumption" o "yung kanilang statement" na "it is fair and safe to assume."
Nakakalungkot naman po yun. Ito ay sobrang mali.
Consistent ang Supreme Court sa decision nito na hindi basehan ang simpleng assumptions para mag-convict lalo na kung ito ay patungkol sa ethical behavior.
Proof, not mere conjectures or assumptions, should be proffered to indicate that the accused had taken part in, to use the Court's words in Arias vs. Sandiganbayan, the "planning, preparation and perpetration of the alleged conspiracy to defraud the government" for, otherwise, any "careless use of the conspiracy theory (can) sweep into jail even innocent persons who may have (only) been made unwitting tools by the criminal minds" really responsible for that irregularity. (for reference, ito ay kaso ng Sabiniano v. CA, GR 76558, October 6, 1995).
Sa mga kaso sa Amerika na applicable sa Pilipinas at ginamit ito ni Pangulong Estrada mismo sa kanyang mga kaso, sinasabi rin na:
“Logical reasoning in the law does not work in this manner. Courts are not allowed to supply missing evidence or to give a party the benefit of unreasonable speculation or forced inferences. Liability cannot rest upon guesswork, conjecture or speculation beyond inferences to be drawn from evidence.”
Ang sabi nga, inference must be the product of reason and logic and it must rest on evidence, i.e. on probability rather than on speculative possibility or conjecture, and must comport with physical laws and human experience.
Certainly, my participation cannot simply be “safely assumed”. It is never “safe” to assume malicious intent.
Moreover, the supposed higher valuation given the Masaito property was duly explained by the same BIR officer who issued the certificates of zonal valuation for it. Former BIR-Parañaque Revenue Officer Carmelita Bacod, whom complainant Senator had subpoenaed and who issued the certification on the zonal valuation of the Masaito lots, not only verified the P30,000.00 zonal valuation for the said lots but also the P4,500.00 per square meter zonal valuation for the other lots along Sucat Road.
She explained that the other lots along Sucat Road are classified as “residential”; hence, they have a zonal valuation of only P4,500.00 per square meter. This is basic in real estate. She went on to explain further that the Masaito lots were classified as “commercial/regular,” hence, they have a zonal valuation of P30,000.00 per square meter. (TSN of 22 September 2009, 12:23pm, pp. 7-8).
Ang totoo niyan - mura pa ho yan.
In other words, the P30,000.00 per square meter valuation for the Masaito lots in question did not come from thin air. Former Parañaque Revenue District Officer Bacod got the figure from page 9 of the Revised Zonal Valuation of 1998 of the Department of Finance.
Ms. Bacod was even adamant about the zonal valuation as she declared at the hearing on 22 September 2009 that if she were to issue another certification, she would use the same zonal valuation for the Masaito lots. (Ibid., p. 7). Thus:
“MR. FRANCISCO: But if you are to make another certification and you were asked for the zonal valuation of San Dionisio, Sucat Road, what will you state?
MS. BACOD: I will state the same facts as contained in the same certification.
MR. FRANCISCO: Which is?
MS. BACOD: That the zonal value of the property will still be 30,000 pesos per square meter.
MR. FRANCISCO: Even if that is not found in the Revised Zonal Valuation of 1998?
MS. BACOD: Yes, because in this page 9 of San Dionisio, even if the zonal value of Don Antonio Avenue – the zonal value is 4,500, it is residential. But we have – on page 9, we have commercial/residential valuation of P30,000.00. And for sure, my basis for classifying this property as commercial/regular is the tax declaration presented to us as issued by the Assessor’s Office classifying the same property as commercial/residential as to its actual use, Your Honor.”
Interestingly, the said testimony of Ms. Bacod was conveniently ignored in the Report.
Again, wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project, at hindi po ako nakinabang. Pulitika po lamang ito.
No conflict of interest
While none of the witnesses they presented accused me of any wrongdoing – I was shocked, and still am in shock, that the conclusion they arrived at is completely the opposite.
In the Report, they concluded that I violated the Constitution for my alleged financial interest in the C5 Project, which as senator placed me in a conflict of interest situation.
First. I did not author the 2008 GAA as no senator can be its author since the GAA originates solely from the House of Representatives.
Second. It is not true that I did not disclose my financial interest in the companies whose properties will be traversed by the MCTEP and the C5 Road Extension Project.
The truth of the matter is that one of my companies even sought the opinion of the Department of Justice precisely to determine whether or not the validity of the proposed transaction will be affected by the fact that I am its principal stockholder and whether the proposed acquisition will be violating any law or regulation, particularly the Constitution.
And, significantly, on November 9, 1999, the DOJ, through Justice Serafin R. Cuevas, rendered an opinion holding that the acquisition by the Government of private property for right-of-way purposes does not fall within the Constitutional prohibition against Members of Congress having direct or indirect financial interest in any contract with the government.
As aptly put by then Secretary of Justice Cuevas:
“In the instant case, there is no showing that the principal stockholder of the Adelfa Properties Inc. (API) took advantage of his position as a member of the House of Representatives to enable API to enter into a contract with the TRB involving the API’s property. The transaction arose as a necessary consequence of the government’s decision to implement the MCTEP and for which it became necessary for the TRB to acquire properties for right-of-way purposes. The API property happens to be one of those that the TRB had identified as necessary for the implementation of the MCTEP.
Clearly, the proposed acquisition by the TRB on a voluntary sale and purchase basis of the subject property of the API for right-of-way purposes does not fall within the subject constitutional prohibition. The said proposal is a mere consequence of the exercise by the TRB of its power to “condemn private property for public use subject to the provisions of existing law.” In acquiring the API’s property through negotiated sale, the TRB was acting in pursuant to law.
In sum, inasmuch as the proposed transaction was not sought by the API nor by any of its stockholders, but was initiated by the TRB in view of the importance and urgency on the part of the government to acquire the subject properties of the API to obviate delay in the continuous implementation and eventual completion of the MCTEP, this Department does not foresee in situations such as this, that a principal stockholder of a private corporation who happens to be a member of the House of Representatives would be cited as having violated Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which expressly prohibits legislators from being directly or indirectly interested financially in any contract with the government or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities.”
Again, the DOJ opinion was conveniently ignored by the Committee.
On the P6,226,070,427
Worse, the committee recommends that I return the amount of P6 billion, which I allegedly made the people to suffer.
Nakakatawa naman ito, Mr. President.
Let me state categorically that no government money was wasted in the C5 Project – not a single centavo! Ni hindi nga ni-release, o binayaran yung right-of-way.
To reiterate, there was no “re-alignment” of the C5 Road Extension Project or of the MCTEP.
The MCTEP was not rendered useless by the construction of the C5 Road Extension Project. These 2 projects are entirely separate and distinct projects. The MCTEP is a toll road, which requires payment of toll fees; while the C5 Road Extension is a public road, which allows free passage to all commuters. In other words, the C5 Road Extension is an alternative route to commuters who cannot afford to pay toll fees. The MCTEP has “limited access”, meaning it has a single entry and exit point; while the C5 Road Extension has “open access”, such that through said road commuters can access various cities and/or municipalities. Clearly, by their very nature, it is not difficult to comprehend that the 2 projects are not mutually exclusive of each other or that the C5 Road Extension is a duplicate of the MCTEP. The construction of the C5 Road Extension did not result in MCTEP becoming unnecessary as to require its being discontinued. The truth is both projects are necessary to decongest the worsening traffic condition in Paranaque, Las Piñas and Cavite.
Para itong NLEX at MacArthur. Dahil po merong NLEX ay hindi na kailangan gawin yung MacArthur o dahil may MacArthur ay di na kailangan ang NLEX.
Inuulit ko po, right-of-way payments on the MCTEP were not wasted. The roads acquired are still there, owned by the government. Once the TRB shall have found another joint venture partner, the expressway project can continue.
Wala po akong ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan.
Wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project, at hindi po ako nakinabang. Napulitika po si Manny Villar.
On the Unjust Process
Mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulug-tulugan. Ngunit mas mahirap pa lang gisingin ang kalaban sa pulitika.
Kahit anong paliwanagan, hindi naniniwala ang mga ito sa akin.
Binago ang proseso para yurakan ang aking dangal at sirain ang aking pagkatao.
Umpisahan natin sa nakahilerang hearing na naka schedule sa Senado. Kahit hindi pa dapat, inuna ang C5 issue para matiyempuhan ang pagkampanya sa darating na eleksiyon. Ito ang inaasahan nilang lahat na makapagbaba ng aking ratings sa mga surveys.
Pangalawa - Ang Ethics committee hearing ay karaniwang pribado at hindi pang media, pangmadla para maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng mga Senador o mga opisyal ng pamahalaan. Pero binukod nila ang kasong laban sa akin dahil sa hangaring pahiyain ako at sirain ang aking pagkatao. Hinayaan nilang magka 20 hearings at 5 privilege speeches, technical working group 5, na mailadlad sa publiko.
Pangatlo - Banggitin na rin natin ang lahat ng tumestigo para patunayang ako ay walang sala. Lahat ng testigo sinabi yun. Hindi ba’t idiniklara akong wala kasalanan ng Ethics committee lalo na sa plunder at estafa charges sa akin noong Hulyo? Bakit ngayon merong mga bumabaligtad at binuhay na naman ang kaso? Ang ibig sabihin ba nun binabale-wala natin ang mga tumestigo? Wala pa namang nagsasabing may kasalanan ako maliban sa mga kalaban ko sa pagtakbo bilang Presidente.
Pang-apat ang paulit-ulit kong kinekuwestiyon:
Saan ka naman nakakita ng isang korte na naglilitis sa 'yo na binubuo ng mga kalaban mo sa pulitika? Apat na taga-Liberal Party, dalawang taga-Puwersa ng Masa at dalawang Presidentiables lumalaban sa akin?
Gumawa na nga ng sariling patakaran sa paglilitis, pagkatapos ang “accusers” ay mga “judges” din? Other upright individuals would have inhibited themselves from the process.
Samakatuwid, bakit ako lalahok sa di-makatarungang prosesong ito, kung alam kong niluto naman ang laban?
Kung alam mong ikaw ang dehado, pagkakaisahan at na-desisyunang may sala, bago pa man magumpisa ang paglilitis, may punto pa bang puntahan ito?
Nililinaw ko--ang aking pananahimik ay hindi pagkaduwag.
Ito ay ang hindi pagkilala sa korteng ito.
Kung tinikom ko ang aking bibig nitong mga nakaraang linggo o buwan, ito ay dahil di ako madaldal na tao. Mahilig ako sa gawa, at di sa salita. Nasagot ko na ang lahat ng isyu noon pa sa lahat ng uri ng komunikasyon. I’ve done hundreds of interviews for TV, radio, at print. Sinagot ko na sa aming website na MannyVillar.com.ph, nagpalimbag ako ng mga pamphlets, nagpa-advertise din ako. Dinala ko na din ang napakaraming peryodista sa lokasyon upang mapaliwanag ang katotohanan.
My conscience is clear.
I have been publicly condemned and maligned by some of my colleagues by simply presenting statements of alleged indiscretions and without proof that I pocketed the funds for the road project. I have been pilloried with a lot of charges as a result of my declaration as a presidential candidate.
As I have stated on September 15, 2008, the first time that this issue was presented on the floor by a colleague and thus, I am saying it again: I have never stolen money from the public coffers and I do not intend to steal. Whatever station in life I am in right now, whatever I am earning now, is a product of hard work, sweat and industry.
Magpapayaman pa daw ako pag ako'y nanalo. Paano ko raw babawiin ang ginagastos ko sa kampanya? Bakit ko kailangang bawiin ang aking nagastos? Wala po sa isip ko yan dahil hindi naman negosyo ang pagiging pangulo. Kung gusto ko lang pong magpayaman, magnenegosyo na lang ako.
Simple lang ang pamilya ko. Simple lang ang aming pamumuhay. We do not need more than what we already have.
Sa aking mundong kinagisnan, sa Moriones Tondo, sa paggising ko nang hatinggabi para sumama sa aking Nanay sa bulungan sa Divisoria at Navotas… sa pagidlip sa makitid na bangko sa Divisoria pagkatapos magtinda ng hipon hanggang alas 6 ng umaga, nakita ko kung paano magtiis, magsikhay at magsikap ang mga katulad kong mahihirap. Ganun pa man, hindi nirerespeto ng ilang mayayaman ang mga katulad namin. Langit at lupang agwat ang aming kabuhayan.
Mahirap bang isipin at sikmurain na ang isang dating mahirap ay naghahangad mangarap sa pagkapangulo? Di ba pwedeng umahon at mangarap ang tulad namin? Mahirap lang ba ako kaya ako’y hinuhusgahan?
Mula sa pagkamusmos, marami akong karanasan nagpamulat sa kin sa katotohanan that life can be unfair. A child of privilege always gets the benefit of the doubt. A child of poverty hardly does.
Bigyan natin ng katahimikan ang Senado. Gawin natin ang dapat gawin para sa mahihirap. Para sa mga taong naghihintay.
Simula nang pumutok ang isyung ito, hanggang sa ngayon, natanggap ko na yata lahat ng masasakit na salita na pwedeng matanggap ng isang tao sa kanyang buhay. Tinawag ako ng maraming masakit na pangalan. Tinawag akong magnanakaw, duwag, oportunista, mahina, at marami pang iba.
Nagdaramdam ako. Masakit para sa kin na marinig ito, at maging sa aking pamilya, lalo pa’t nanggaling ito sa ilan kong kapwa mga mambabatas—ang mga kasama ko sa kamara, na pinagsilbihan ko rin naman bilang Senate president at tinuring kong pamilya at kaibigan.
Salungat sa iniisip ng ilan, hindi ko kailanman naging hangarin na bastusin, hatiin, at higit sa lahat sirain ang integridad ng institusyon ng Senado.
Pero uulitin ko na tila ang kasalanan ko sa mata ng ilan ay di ako pinanganak na mayaman. Wala akong kilalang apelyido o tanyag na kamaganak. Sa pagtuligsa sa akin, isa ang malinaw na opinion: ang opinion na porket nanggaling sa mahirap ang isang tao ay di pwedeng yumaman sa mabuti at marangal na paraan.
No one is above the law. Yun ang paniwala ko. Ngunit dito sa Senado, anong batas ang pinapairal? Kaninong kapakanan kundi sa mga katunggali sa pulitika?
I shall repeat what I’ve said so many times. I will be repeating this for the last time in this hall. Wala akong kasalan. Walang anomalya sa C5 project. Hindi ako nakinabang at lahat ito ay pulitika lamang. Ito ay kathang-isip ng mga ilan na ginagamit ang Senado para ako’y siraan.
Nakamtan ko na ang marami sa aking pangarap sa buhay. Ang tanging huling nais ko ay maiahon ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan mula sa kahirapan. Matagal na silang naghihintay ng makakatulong sa kanila.
I seek the presidency now because I have a dream for our people – a dream of rescuing them from poverty and giving them a better future such as the future I have realized for myself and my family. Natapos ko na ang aking kahirapan bago pa ako naging pulitiko. Ngayon, sapat na ang napundar ko para sa kinabukasan ng aking pamilya. We have more than enough. Kung gusto kong yumaman pa, mananatili na lamang ako sa negosyo.
I do not want the majority of the Filipino people to always keep hoping and waiting for the next presidential candidate to save them. I seek the presidency as the culmination – not the beginning – of my life in public service. I have always strived to help as many people as I can. Panata kong ibalik sa mahihirap ang mga biyayang aking natanggap. Alam ko ang pakiramdam ng maging maliit at maging walang wala.
Naranasan ko na yan. Naranasan ko na ang magutom. Naranasan ko na ang mamatayan ng kapatid na hindi alam kung saan ka kukuha ng gamot dahil wala kang pera. Naranasan ko na tuwing magmamatrikula kami, nakatingin ako sa nanay ko na hindi ko alam kung saan kukuha ng pangmatrikula. Yan pong kahirapan, naranasan ko na po yan. Alam ko po ang pakiramdam na maging maliit at walang-wala, yung wala ka talagang tatakbuhan. Naranasan ko na po yan. Ayaw kong mangyari yan sa mga kabataan ngayon. yung mga darating na henerasyon hindi na dapat mangyari sa kanila yan. Dapat na pong tapusin yan.
Alam ko kung paano tapusin ang kahirapan. Nagawa ko ito sa aking sarili, nagawa ko para sa iba na akin nang natulungan at hangarin ko na gawin pa ito para sa mas nakakarami.
Ang pangarap kong ito ay di matutumbasan ng pera. Marami po naghihintay dito sa labas. Tayo po ay kakain pa rin tayo pagkatapos nito subalit ang mga mahihirap, pag sila'y nabigo na naman, marami po sa kanila hindi na kakain.
Maraming salamat sa inyo, aking mga kababayan, na tuloy na nagtitiwala sa akin sa gitna ng mga paratang ng kasinungalingan. Bagamat ganito ang nangyari, ako’y nananalig pa rin na mananaig ang katotohanan dito sa Senado at sa mahal nating bayan.
Inuulit ko sa mata ng Diyos at mata ng bayan, hindi po ako nagnakaw. Wala po akong balak magnakaw habang buhay. At yan lamang po ang aking maipapasa sa aking mga anak, yang kabutihang asal.
Ngayon ako ay nakikiisa. Nakikiisa ako sa lahat ng nangangarap at sa patuloy na nananalangin, sa mga mahihirap na nasa labas na nangangarap at nananalangin upang muli nang ngumiti ang langit sa ating bayan.