Landing flew Nayong Pilipino execs to South Korea before deal approval: Duterte kin

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2018 11:10 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2018 11:38 AM

MANILA - Some Nayong Pilipino Foundation officials accepted a sponsored trip to South Korea from Landing International months before the agency awarded a $1.5 billion casino-theme park project to the Hong Kong developer, a board member of the Filipino firm said Friday.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked the entire Nayong Pilipino Board this week over its 70-year lease deal with Landing. This includes Marie Fema Duterte, whose husband is a distant relative of the President.

Citing official records, Marie Fema Duterte said board executives went to South Korea on September 29, 2017 upon the invitation of Landing.

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"Nagsakay sila ng private plane owned by Landing na nag-invite sa kanila kasi may shino-showcase daw doon sa Korea na theme park na ipapakita sa kanila," Duterte said.

(They were on a private plane owned by Landing, which invited them to showcase their theme park in Korea.)

She said the foundation's officials returned to the country in October and a deal was reached on Nov. 7. She did not identify those who joined the sponsored trip. 

"Hindi ko alam kung tumanggap sila kasi wala naman ako doon nung nag-usap sila. Wala ako sa meeting, wala akong nakita o narinig so I can't say," she said.

(I don't know if they received anything because I wasn't there. I wasn't in that meeting. I didn't see or hear anything so I can't say.)

ABS-CBN News tried to get in touch with Nayong Pilipino Foundation and Landing International, but has yet to receive a reply from either parties.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the president was fuming "like a fire-breathing dragon" after reviewing the theme park project, which broke ground this week.

The Commission on Audit said the project did not undergo proper bidding and it might be undervalued.