Money must be paid as high up as the president

The Japanese contractor who provided information to World Bank (WB) investigators regarding alleged rigging of the bidding for road projects said he was told that bribes had to be paid to officials as high as “the president.”

The Japanese contractor, whose name had been publicly announced as Tomatu Suzuka, told WB investigators that in one meeting with the late Sen. Robert Barbers, it was made clear to him that there would be no business in the Philippines without paying money.

“Money would have to be paid as high up as the president, senior government officials and politicians in order to do any further business in the country. To win a contract it would be necessary to pay the head of the bureau and politicians several million yen (several tens of thousands of US dollars),” the excerpts, provided by government sources, stated.

But Suzuka said he did not have any direct contact with President Arroyo and only met with Barbers and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who “first discussed bribes” and that they had a “rough approach.”

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