Congressman linked to 'bridges to nowhere' mess

from a report by Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2012 08:54 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2012 07:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A partylist congressman has been dragged into the controversy over allegedly anomalous bridge contracts.

Some of the so-called "bridges to nowhere" scattered across the country can be found in the middle of farmland and are of no use to either pedestrians or motorists.

Senator Serge Osmeña said more than P111 billion were spend on the bridges.

He said aside from being useless, the bridges are also overpriced.

Osmeña said Kasangga partylist Rep. Teodoro Haresco should be made to explain, along with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her Cabinet officials, regarding the bridges.

He said Haresco, a godfather of Mikey and Dato Arroyo, was the local representative of a supplier for the projects.

The congressman was also allegedly a subcontractor and handled the Malacañang legwork, Osmeña said.

Haresco refused to issue any statement on the matter when approached by ABS-CBN News at his office in the Batasan Pambansa.

His chief of staff said Haresco chooses not to comment out of courtesy to the Senate.

Arroyo's camp on the other hand, flatly denies any anomaly.

The former President's spokesperson, Len Bautista Horn, said the program spanned 4 administrations starting with former President Fidel V. Ramos.

She said all transactions were approved by various government agencies.

But Osmeña alleged that some of these agencies were only forced to approve the projects.

At the Senate, Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman TG Guingona said Arroyo may be invited to the probe on the program.

Guingona, however, admitted that Arroyo cannot be compelled to attend any hearing out of interparliamentary courtesy. - ANC