Statement of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II on the presentation of the alleged Right of Way Scam witness Roberto S. Catapang, Jr.

27 November 2017

Last Friday, November 24, 2017, I announced that your DOJ has received the affidavit  of a witness to a Road Right of Way Scam that has purportedly defrauded our government of close to Php 9 billion during the previous administration.

During that press briefing, I also announced that the witness, ROBERTO S. CATAPANG JR., has been provisionally admitted to the Witness Protection Program. I am presenting Mr. Roberto C. Catapang Jr.,  to you to prove that he exists  and that he has sought the coverage and the protection of the WPP.

By way of updates to the case we are building against the persons named in the affidavit of  Mr. Catapang, I wish to inform everyone that late in the evening of November 24, 2017, I have already approved the issuance of an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against     43 persons who were named by Mr. Catapang in his affidavit which he submitted to us.   

On a related matter, also last November 24, 2017, after our press conference,  during the 2017 Homecoming of the San Beda College Law at the Manila Peninsula, a law school classmate of President Duterte and yours truly, former Assemblyman Rogelio Garcia of South Cotabato told me that he is also a victim of this scam.

The property of Assemblyman Garcia, around 7,000 square meters, was subjected to the modus operandi of this Road Right of Way Scam.

Assemblyman Garcia is supposed to join us today but due to a conflict of schedule he could not make it. However I got this message from him at 2 p.m. today. (SOJ reads message).

In due time, we will obtain the sworn statement of Assemblyman Garcia and perhaps we can present him to you.

The allegations in the sworn statement of Mr. Roberto Catapang Jr, including the amount taken from government coffers,  are serious allegations that should be looked into. This is in line with the President’s directive to wage war on corruption, then and now.

I am reiterating once again my call to all who have personal knowledge of this Road Right of Way Scam to come forward and to tell the truth. When the government is defrauded, it is really the Filipino people who are really defrauded. Our office is open to you, we will listen to you and more importantly, we will protect you via the Witness Protection Program.

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