Perjury raps to be filed vs “Yolanda” housing contractor

(Eagle News) — Perjury charges are set to be filed against the contractor  who secured an P800-million contract with the government for the construction of houses  for “Yolanda” victims.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Rep. Albee Benitez, chair of the House of Representatives’ housing committee, said the charges would be filed against  JC Tayag after he was found to have lied to congressmen looking into possible anomalies in the implementation of the National Housing Authority’s housing program.

The program  began during then-President Benigno Aquino III’s term.

According to Benitez, Tayag personally told them in the last hearing that he did not use 8-millimeter reinforcement parts for the houses, but a House of Representatives inspection team that went to the Balangiga site a day after he made the claim found that this was not the case.

He said the NHA required reinforcement parts for houses to measure at least 10 millimeters.

“Mismong sa harap namin nagsinungaling (siya),” Benitez said.

Benitez also cited an instance when Tayag lied about the work of a subcontractor, who recently became whistleblower and told the committee the contractor indeed used 8-millimeter reinforcement parts.

Tayag had reportedly said the whistleblower was “only a foreman.”

COA special audit

“Sabi namin, nakita mo mga sinsweldo mo sa kaniya? Nakita namin mga dokumento na galing sa whistleblower. Isa pa sa pwede siya (Tayag) makasuhan, yung sa testimonya niya na di subcontracting ginawa niya kundi empleyado daw (ang kinuha niya),” Benitez said.

He said the panel has already asked the Commission on Audit to conduct a special audit of the houses constructed for “Yolanda” victims all over the country.

He said the investigation will also include other contractors.

The next hearing will be a joint hearing with the House committee on good government, as it would focus on the liability of NHA officials who were involved in the “anomaly,” Benitez said.