SEN. Grace Poe is studying the possibility of filling a resolution asking the proper Senate committee to look into the controversial joint venture agreement between IBC 13 and RII Builders-Primestate Ventures Inc. and find out the truth about the deal.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on public information and mass media, said she would initially ask the IBC -13 and the RII builders to provide her with data related to the deal for her to study the issue.
The Senator’s move was in response to the appeal of the Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC) last week asking Poe if she could somehow check out the IBC13- RII Builders-Primestate Ventures Inc. joint venture agreement which had been a subject of a congressional inquiry in 2012.
CFC secretary-general, Perfecto Jaime Tagalog, said a Senate investigation could help clear all the issue regarding the joint venture deal and find out if there were indeed irregularities done in the deal.
The state auditing body on the its 2012 audit report found that the IBC 13 deal was disadvantageous to the government because the land valuation is way below the actual value of the 4.4-hectare prime property in Quezon City.
The joint venture agreement set the price of the prime property at P9,999 per square meter when prices of land in the area already cost P17,000 in 2009 to 2011, based on the COA report.
“I would also request the Commission on Audit to provide us their full audit report,” said Poe.
Senator Franklin Drilon, in 2010 was among those who questioned the deal and insisted that it was grossly disadvantageous because of the P728 million RII will pay IBC-13 only P278 million will be received by the government.
Drilon, in a recent interview however admitted that he is not aware of what has transpired in the deal after he was informed that it has been reformed.
The camp of businessman Reghis Romero, owner of RII Builders claimed that Ombudsman had already cleared them of any liability on the IBC-13 land deal.
Earlier, the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) received information that Romero’s camp has been issuing warnings against media outlets from publishing and airing stories the business disliked.
NPC President Joey Sy Egco, in a statement issued recently however said that while Mr. Romero has every right to sue, his alleged threat to do so is a form of harassment and intimidation that the organization cannot tolerate.
“On the other hand, we also call on our media colleagues to be professional and to always abide by our own code of ethics in the exercise of our profession,” added Egco, who is a Senior Reporter of the Manila Times.