De Lima seeks probe on Chinese firms in PH deals

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SENATOR Leila de Lima is set to file a resolution asking the proper Senate committee to investigate how Chinese companies with questionable records became involved in five major infrastructure projects in the country.

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De Lima, in a news forum, said she wants to find out if the projects involve “tied loans.”

She explained that “tied loans” are illegal because projects under such schemes do not undergo public bidding.

“I intend to file a resolution calling for an inquiry, a hearing, to clarify these deals and the pronouncements made by the president on foreign policy in the Beijing trip. So what are the ramifications to that diplomatically, militarily, and economically?” De Lima said.

The senator was referring to the China Road and Bridge Corp., a subsidiary of the China Communication Construction Co. (CCCC), a firm that was blacklisted by the World Bank for fraudulent practices in 2011.

Also, China Harbour Engineering Co. and CCCC Dredging Co. were said to have bagged five major infrastructure projects. These firms were reported to have built China’s islands at the South China Sea.
De Lima echoed the call of Sen. Panfilo Lacson for Malacanang to investigate the issue.

Lacson said the Palace should get to the bottom of this embarrassing issue.

“I hope these are mere due diligence flaws and lack of oversight instead of a deliberate and worse, malevolent act of conspiracy with these firms of questionable integrity for some pecuniary considerations,” he said.
He added that whoever is responsible must be dealt with accordingly.

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