Drilon urges immediate cancellation of contract with Chinese firm to build Sangley airport

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon pressed the government to terminate the contract with China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) which bagged the contract for the construction of Sangley Point International Airport (SPIA) in Cavite, citing the firm’s history of fraud and corruption.

“I urge for 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 on Monday.

“We cannot just brush it aside. We cannot turn a blind eye on this,” he added.

CCCC was among the Chinese firms blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce for building artificial islands in the West Philippines Sea, Drilon noted.

The World Bank blacklisted the firm for corrupt practices, he added.

In a press release in 2011, the World Bank 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 Malaysia Prime Minister Rajib in exchange for the construction of the East Coast Railway Project, Drilon noted. At that time, the firm’s president was Chen Fenjian, who is believed to have committed suicide last month due to corruption issues.

Foreign Affairs 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. The Malacanang, however, said the President had already decided to push through with the project despite the blacklisting issue.

The Senate chief fiscalizer said it is not yet too late for the government to cancel the contract with the Chinese firm.

“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 cannot be awarded to a company with such a bad track record,” Drilon stressed. The first phase of the project is reported to be worth $10 billion.

Drilon said that the government’s anti-corruption stance will 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? Shouldn’t they consider the allegations against CCCC before the contract was awarded?” Drilon asked. SENATE.GOV.PH