DOJ recommends cancellation of Landing lease deal

The Department of Justice has recommended the cancellation of the Nayong Pilipino-Landing lease contract, after conducting its review over the legality of the deal, local media reports.

On Friday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque, quoting Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the lease contract between NPF and Landing was “void from the start”.

“According to the Secretary of Justice, the contract of Landing with Nayong Pilipino is a Build-Operate-Transfer [BOT] contract disguised as a lease contract. Because it is a BOT project, it should have complied with the BOT law including public bidding,” said Roque in a news conference.

“This, of course, rebuts the public advertisement paid for by former officials of the Nayong Pilipino,” he added.

On Wednesday, the former board members of Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) released an open letter in newspapers insisting the legality of a lease contract with a casino developer.

Roque said that the DOJ concluded that NPFI’s lease contract with Landing has no legal effect as it was void from the beginning.

“Again, I reiterate, the DOJ has joined the President in concluding the contract is void ab initio.”

When asked if charges would be filed against the dismissed NPF officials, Roque said he was hoping the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ombudsman would investigate those involved in the deal.