Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Monday urged the government to terminate the contract with the Chinese company that bagged the contract for the construction of Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) in Cavite.
Drilon said the said Chinese firm, Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) has been linked to allegations of fraud and corruption. It was also among the Chinese firms blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce for building artificial islands in the West Philippines Sea.
“I urge the immediate cancellation of the contract with Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) to build Sangley airport on the account of its questionable reputation. CCCC has a history of fraud and corruption,” Drilon said in a statement.
“We cannot just brush it aside. We cannot turn a blind eye on this,” Drilon said, adding that the World Bank also blacklisted the firm for corrupt practices in 2011.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. initially called for the termination of contracts with Chinese firms involved in the construction of artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea but Malacañang said that President Duterte had already decided to push through with the project despite the blacklisting issue.
Drilon noted that the World Bank had announced the debarment of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) Limited, and all its subsidiaries, for fraudulent practices under Phase 1 of the Philippines National Roads Improvement and Management Project.
The company was also reported to have given kickbacks to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in exchange for the construction of East Coast Railway Project.
At that time, the firm’s president was Chen Fenjian, who is believed to have committed suicide last month due to corruption issues, the senator noted.
Drilon said it is not yet too late for the government to cancel the contract with the Chinese firm. The first phase of the project is reported to be worth $10-billion.
“Given the dubious track record of CCCC, the only logical move here is to cancel the contract – no ifs and buts. A lucrative project such as the Sangley (international airport) cannot be awarded to a company with such a bad track record,” Drilon stressed.
The minority leader said the Duterte administration’s stance against corruption would be questioned if it awards the lucrative contract to a firm with a history of corruption.
“There are hundreds of companies with credible and outstanding track records in airport construction. What standards did they follow when they awarded the contract to CCCC?” Drilon pointed out.
“Shouldn’t they have considered the allegations against CCCC before the contract was awarded?” he further asked.