MANILA - A lawyer for Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal on Thursday claimed that companies owned by Sen. Manny Villar used fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) certifications to overvalue Villar's properties, which would eventually be purchased by the government for its road projects.
In an interview over dzMM's Tambalang Failon at Sanchez, Atty. Ernesto Francisco said Adelfa Properties and other companies owned by Villar used fake or tampered BIR certifications to overvalue several properties that would be affected by the C-5 road extension project. He said the certifications were submitted to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and directly benefited companies owned by Villar.
"There was a pattern, a modus operandi in order to sell the property to the government for a higher price. If the value of the land was worth only P7 million at 4,500 per square meter, the company would produce a BIR certification that the value of the land is really P30,000 per square meter and was actually worth P48 million," he said.
Francisco explained that every time a government road project would go through private land, government always had to pay for road right of way.
He said Adelfa Properties COO Anastacio Adriano Jr. admitted during a Senate ethics committee hearing that the company was paid P25 million for the road right of way in one of the properties affected by a government road project.
Francisco said a total of five separate properties owned by Villar's companies benefited from various government road projects. He also said that Villar has a history of using his pork barrel to fund road projects that would directly benefit his various real estate projects south of Manila.
Villar is currently facing an ethics investigation before the Senate for approving a P200 million double insertion in the 2008 annual appropriations of the C-5 extension road project.
Madrigal accused Villar of using his position to make the insertions and pour millions of pesos to his real estate company’s subdivision projects.
Road projects "above board"
Villar's spokesman Gilbert Remulla, meanwhile, said all the road projects approved by the former Senate president are above board.
"Sen. Villar is particularly careful of his reputation so he would not do anything that would be illegal or anomalous. Everything is above board and the documents went through the Department of Justice and the BIR," he said in a separate dzMM interview.
He added that Villar has refused to appear before the Senate ethics hearing since he does not believe that he would get a fair hearing.
"This trial is not an impartial court. These are fellow presidential candidates so he does not see that he will get a fair hearing there. That is one of the biggest reasons," he said.
On the allegation that Villar properties used fake BIR documents to overvalue the property, he said: "This is a legal matter...Maybe those in Vista Land can answer it."
He denied, however, Villar committed a "conflict of interest" when he approved road projects that directly benefited his real estate properties in Cavite.
"It was not solely for the benefit of his company but for the population at large. How many hundreds of billions are saved and properties unlocked because traffic was eased? These projects passed through due process. Besides, Villar is a public fugure and the company is publicly listed. He will not risk doing anything illegal," he said.