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President Arroyo aims for closure on Hanjin Heavy bribe affair

President Arroyo aims for closure on Hanjin Heavy bribe affair

Manila: President Gloria Arroyo is satisfied with the report of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that absolved Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. from alleged bribery, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Ermita said the President met with local officials of Misamis Oriental reportedly after Hanjin sent a letter to the local leadership expressing the company's desire to withdraw from the project.

The DILG had "cleared" Hanjin from allegations that it offered P400 million worth of contracts to local officials in exchange for securing permits for its operations, he said.

"What is important here is that there will be no more finger pointing and the mayors have lifted the issuance of permit," he said, adding he believes there's no need for a Senate investigation, although he hasn't seen the affidavit of the mayors involved.

Asked if the President's initiative averted the crisis, Ermita said, "The President had averted something that could have been messy if this was not looked into immediately."

"We're attracting foreign investors and if we have this kind of trouble they will think the Philippines is a bad place to invest that's why the President ordered a quick investigation," he said.  [8/5/08]