Ron Salo in panic mode because of anamalous license plate deal

License Plate Scandal photo from Interkasyon.com

License Plate Scandal photo from Interkasyon.com

Today, Rep. Ron Salo’s camp issued a press statement saying that I am being investigated by the Kabayan Board for my alleged “dishonorable behavior” in the House Committee on Justice investigations on Senator Leila De Lima’s links to the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

Rep. Ron Salo is obviously in panic mode after he was indicted for his role in the anomalous Php 3.8 billion Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program (MVLPSP) at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) during the Aquino administration.

To begin with, I do not recognize the legality of this so-called Board organized by Rep. Salo for his own benefit and protection.

Second, if there is anyone who should be investigated by Kabayan and booted out of the party-list, it should be Rep. Salo himself who is already facing charges in court for estafa through falsification of documents.

Another complaint, this time for graft and corruption, was also filed against him and other personalities in connection with the same anomalous deal that has prejudiced millions of Filipino vehicle owners, not to mention the government itself.

Not only that, a plunder case is also reportedly being readied against Rep. Salo in the DOJ.

Rep. Salo has earned for himself the ignominy of being a criminal participant in one of the Aquino administration’s – and the Liberal Party’s – worst legacies.

Atty. Salo was indicted for his role as corporate counsel to Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. (PPI) and Dutch company J. Knieriem B.V. Goes (JKG), the Joint Venture that won the bidding for the license plate deal.

The DOJ had found probable cause to charge him for falsification of documents after he and a cohort passed off as JKG’s year 2011 audited financial statement what was later established to be the corporation’s annual report of accounts for the same year. For public bidding purposes, a participating corporation is required by law to submit an audited financial statement showing that it is actually financially capable of implementing the project.

Media reports about the case failed to capture three important things: one, that Atty. Salo is now an honorable member of the House of Representatives; two, the head of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) who approved the contract was his former boss here at the House of Representatives, Joseph Emilio Abaya; and three, a warrant of arrest has already been issued against Rep. Salo in connection with the estafa case.

Atty. Salo used to be part of the legislative staff of Mr. Abaya when he was still a law student.

Still, the news reports did note that a second complaint had just been filed with the Department of Justice against Abaya, Rep. Salo and several others in connection with the same anomalous deal, this time for graft and corruption.

From the looks of it, the questioned deal was a cozy arrangement for Atty. Salo, given his past ties to Mr. Abaya, who, until recently, was president of the Liberal Party.

It’s quite a meteoric rise indeed for Rep. Salo from being a lowly legislative staff to being part of a criminal enterprise responsible for defrauding government and the Filipino people in a contract worth Php 3.8 billion.

I challenge his so-called Board to investigate their principal – who fashions himself as a lay preacher of the Christian gospel – for his hand in this immoral and illegal deal.

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