Witnesses in WB report challenged to undergo lie detector test

A local contractor accused in a World Bank report of taking part in the rigging of bids for local road projects funded by the agency has challenged his accusers to undergo a lie detector test, a television report said Thursday.

In her report in GMA News’ “24 Oras," Maki Pulido said Eduardo de Luna, owner of E.C. de Luna Construction Corp., denied the allegations against him and his company, saying they are all “rumors."

“Lahat po nang laman nito (World Bank report) ay puro tsismis [The contents of the World Bank report are all rumors]," De Luna said as he challenged his accusers to undergo a lie detector test.

“Ang tsismis napakalakas manira, pero ang lie detector test malalaman natin kung sino nagsasabi ng totoo [Rumors can ruin a person, but through a lie detector test, we’ll find out who’s saying the truth]," he said.

De Luna suspected that he became a subject of smear campaign by contractors who lost in the bid. He said he has been in the construction business for 20 years and it was in 2002 when he won a bid for a multi-million road project funded by WB.

The project, however, was not implemented after WB reportedly received an e-email disclosing irregularities in the bidding process, the report said.

Aside from De Luna, personalities implicated in the World Bank report were First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, deceased former Senator Robert Barbers, former Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay, and former Negros Oriental Rep. Jerome Paras.

Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace Barbers, son of ex- Sen. Barbers, defended his father from any wrongdoing. He also challenged the supposed witnesses who informed the World Bank of the alleged anomalies to face the people they are accusing.

“Magpakilala ‘yung witness, humarap sa tamang forum para makadepensa naman ‘yung mga ini-implicate nila. Malay mo nag-iimbento lang ‘yun [The witness should come out in the open and bring the accusations to the proper forum so that those who are implicated can defend themselves]," Barbers said.

Pichay said he is studying the possibility of filing a libel case against the World Bank. - with Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV

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