What’s this I heard from the rumor mill all the way from Bicolandia that a big time female contractor gives bribes in millions of pesos to a politician and regional heads of certain agencies to corner multimillion pesos of government projects in the area?
The story goes something like this: this lady contractor, who is known as alias “Zusan Durce”, is known to be so generous to a “politico” and regional officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) that she gets almost all of their huge projects in Bicol.
Durce is said to be the recipient of some P150 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of a certain congressman in the area for 2013 alone.
Sources said the pork barrel of the lawmaker, who is by the way related to her, was channeled to the regional office of the DPWH for an infrastructure project.
The same story says that for giving all of his PDAF to Durce, Mr. Congressman allegedly received 15 percent or P22 million as commission from his contractor-relative.
And an official of the DPWH Region 5 office was reportedly given 10 percent or P15 million “payola” for awarding the project to her company, a certain “Zanro Construction”, in a moro-moro or staged bidding.
The same official added that Durce also gave five percent each to two local officials in the region or P15 million total for both of them.
So, out of the P150 million PDAF of the lawmaker, only P97 million was left for the infrastructure project, not deducting yet the 10 percent profit of the contractor.
The same “tongpats” or “SOP” applies when Ms. “Zusan” gets a hefty sum of project from NIA with the help of this old lawmaker…fifteen percent commission goes to Mr. Congressman again, 10 percent for the NIA official, and another ten for the two local politicians.
No wonder that most, if not all, of the government projects in our country are substandard due entirely to the small amount left for the project itself after commissions, “payolas”, or “tongpats” are deducted.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona, should investigate Durce and her lawmaker-padrino next for their reported abuse and misuse of the pork barrel.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will surely make several millions more in taxes if they will go after this contractor who reportedly owns several condo units in Metro Manila, three large mansions and a large piece of land in Albay, and a dozen luxury vehicles…but that’s another story for next week, folks.
‘David Tan’ is small fish
If the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is really serious in clamping down on rice smuggling in the country, perhaps it should also go after its financiers and the brokers they use.
Sources within the bureau said alias “David Tan” is just a small fish since he is just the operations manager of the rice smugglers and allows himself to be their frontman.
An official of the bureau, who requested anonymity, said two Tsinoy brothers are behind this rice smuggling operation since the time of former President Arroyo.
The brothers, who are known in the communications, entertainment and sports industry, finance Tan to illegally bring in rice from abroad.
The source added that Tan does the dirty work from talking to rice suppliers abroad to tapping a broker to facilitate the entry and release of hundreds of metric tons of smuggled rice from the various ports in the country.
Tan has been using a certain “Manny S.” as broker, who has a lot of connections inside the bureau since several of these employees are under his payroll and get paid every Friday.
Authorities may catch Tan and Manny S. but for as long as these Tsinoy brothers remain free, rice smuggling will continue in the country.
The rice smuggling brothers will just find another lieutenant to replace Tan and will tap another broker to replace Manny S.
Many BOC commissioners in the past have tried but failed to curb rice smuggling in the county.