A Filipino anti-corruption group has accused the government of corruption in a project to build several bridges with 9 billion pesos (160 million US dollars), the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on its Website Monday evening.
Charges of graft and corruption were filed at the Ombudsman Office against officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for alleged anomalies in the bridge program spearheaded by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, reported the newspaper.
The Sinag ng Bayan (Light and People) Foundation, which is led by former congressman Carlos Padilla, accused the DPWH of wasting money by constructing bridges "that lead to nowhere and where no roads exist."
Among the bridges he mentioned in his complaint filed are bridges built in the provinces of Tarlac in Luzon, Aklan in central Philippines, Zamboanga Sibugay and Agusan del Sur in Mindanao, all financed by the British government.
"The misallocation of resources was also evident in the construction of two-lane bridges connecting single dirt roads, and over dried up rivers and creeks," Padilla was quoted as saying." Many of the approaches to and foundation of the bridges were also found defective and weak."
The group said the anomalies were discovered when its teams went to the field to conduct a random audit of the completed bridges as reported by the DPWH.
It said the construction of the bridges were "rushed prior to the 2004 elections and sites were selected without any clear basis "as a flagship program of President Arroyo, who was running for presidency at that time.