Sen. Roxas bares another big govt' lobby anomaly

Senator Mar Roxas on Friday urged Malacañang to scrap its $50 million, six-month contract with American lobby firm, Covington & Burling LLP, which would cost more than Washington’s military aid to the Philippines.

Roxas said he was familiar with the rates charged for normal trade access or information access and believed the $50 million was for “something more, perhaps like getting the US Defense and Military establishment to soften resistance to a new strain of Martial Law.”

If they can’t defend this in Plaza Miranda or any market in the country, then they should junk it altogether,” Roxas said in a statement.

Roxas revealed that the pricey contract was signed between the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. and Covington & Burling to “promote the interests of the Republic of the Philippines with the US Congress and the US Government on a range of political, economic, and security issues.

Who is behind this contract and why? Who is ready to stand before the people and explain what this contract is all about and why $50-million of the people’s money should be spent on this rather than on school-feeding programs, better health services, and other priorities?” he asked.

Roxas demanded that the government publish in full the provisions of the multimillion dollar contract to avoid a repeat of the controversy generated by the P50 million Venable LLP contract in 2005.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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