WB report unfair, says Barbers family

Surigao del Norte Gov. Robert Ace Barbers has expressed dismay over the alleged World Bank report that refers to his father, the late Robert Barbers, as the senator who “exerted his influence to further the collusive bid schemes” of contractors involved in anomalous practices in undertaking the international financial institution’s projects.

“It is very sad that my father who has been gone for more than three years now is being dragged into this mess. Remember that he was out of politics after the 2004 elections. If the report indeed exists, how can we, remaining members of the family, clear the name of our father if we cannot test the veracity of the allegations,” Barbers said.

Barbers stressed that if the World Bank will not make the report public, at least “they should have the decency to furnish us copies and allow us to pose queries on the allegations leveled against our father who cannot anymore defend himself.”

Bill of rights

“This is most unfair,” Barbers said in a press statement.

Barbers said the World Bank report indicted his deceased father and the others before the “bar of public opinion by somebody who doesn’t want to be known.”

“Even in our Bill of Rights which we copied from the Americans, the same people who dominate the World Bank, the accused is given the right to cross-examine the witnesses against him,” he stressed.

But this right, Barbers said, was not even accorded them as the World Bank failed to give them a chance to defend themselves.

To avoid further controversies, Barbers suggested that the World Bank and other similar entities, which have projects in the Philippines, should pick their own contractors to undertake the projects they bankroll.

“I am sure that the Filipino people will welcome this suggestion as it will end corruption, in their projects at least,” Barbers said. (inquirer.net)

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