MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said she has requested documents from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) linked to the P9.5-billion loan the bank released for the construction of sports facilities for last year's South East Asian (SEA) Games.
Among the documents Hontiveros sought were the Bases Conversion and Development Authority's (BCDA) "loan or credit agreement, signing authority, minutes of the meeting, relevant presentations . . . and the counsel's opinion or legal sufficiency" in entering the joint venture agreement with Malaysian firm MTD Berhad for the construction of facilities in the New Clark City in Tarlac.
"Umaasa kami na diringgin ng DBP ang aming request letter in the spirit of transparency, upang hindi na kailanganin pang ipa-subpoena sa kumite," the senator said in a virtual press conference.
(We are hopeful that the DBP will grant our request letter in the spirit of transparency, so that a Senate committee will no longer have to issue a subpoena.)
Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution urging the Senate to investigate the joint venture deal that was allegedly "disadvantageous to the public."
Under the joint agreement, the BCDA was to provide the land for the construction site while MTD Berhad would shoulder the cost of constructing the sports facilities.
But Hontiveros alleged that MTD Berhad did not do its part, as the BCDA took a loan from the DBP to fund the multi-billion project.
"Ang usaping ito ay hindi tungkol sa ating mga atleta... Ang usaping ito ay hindi rin tungkol sa pagiging world-class ng sports center sa Clark," Hontiveros said.
(This issue is not about the athletes... Neither is it about having a world-class sports center in Clark.)
"Sa huli, ito ay tungkol sa accountability. Ito ay tungkol sa pagbabalewala at mistulang pag-araro ng public bidding requirements na napapaloob sa batas natin."
(In the end, this is about accountability. This is about the disregard and seeming plow through public bidding requirements enshrined in our laws.)
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the Government Corporations and Public Enterprises have yet to announce when it plans to tackle Hontiveros' resolution to look into the said loan.