Esguerra defends Puentevella-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
EXECUTIVE Assistant Sarah Esguerra defended Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella on Wednesday on his alleged involvement in the purchase of overpriced computer sets when he was still the congressman of the Lone District of Bacolod City.
Esguerra said the Information Technology (IT) package in those times were not just an ordinary computer sets purchased by the Department of Education (DepEd) in years 2002, 2004 and 2005.
The budget for the project was taken from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Puentevella.
Puentevella did not participate in the bidding of those IT packages but only facilitated the transfer of funds to DepEd and the DepEd bidded it out.
It was under former DepEd regional director Victoriano Tirol, Jr. when this project was purchased, Esguerra said.
The former congressman did not dip a hand in the bidding of these IT equipment and accessories, she added.
She presented to the media the hard-bound copy of the documentary evidence by JP Angeles Associates Law Office which furnished the Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol.
Esguerra said they only dragged the name of the former solon in this issue, referring to the mayor’s camp.
He just received a notice on this matter and no more, Esguerra said.
The said law office has submitted to the Ombudsman all evidence to the IT packages that were bidded out by the DepEd.
The letter was dated way back March 17, 2010 and no further notice has been received up to now.
It was in those times that the IT has boomed. It was an intellectual technology package that made it quite expensive. If that appeared expensive, the purchase of it was done by DepEd and not by the former solon, Esguerra said.
Puentevella's own motive was just to provide the funds for the said project as he wants to help the public elementary and high schools improve their efficiency in teaching and learning, she pointed out.
The purchases were done in 2004 with a budget of P2.4 million for the six sets of IT packages; P8.8 million for the purchase of 15 sets; and another seven sets in 2004 for elementary and high schools; and another P2.4 million for the four sets of IT packages for elementary and high schools in 2005.
She added that Puentevella is not even a party to the case filed in the Ombudsman.
Raps in the Ombudsman
Former city legal officer (CLO), the deceased Allan Zamora, was the one who filed the criminal charges before the Ombudsman for the Visayas against former congressman now Bacolod City Monico Puentevella, Victoriano Tirol Jr., and officers of Merryland Publishing Corporation for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Based on the complaint, the former congressman has allocated P10,435,720 in 2002; P15,200,000 in 2004; and P13,200,000 in 2005 from his PDAF for the purchase of Information Technology equipment for the various elementary and high schools in Bacolod City.
Records from the Department of Budget and Management show that 38 public schools in 2004 and 33 public schools in 2005 each received a package consisting of only two computer units and accessories worth P400,000.
"The amount of P400,000 is rather disturbing if not highly, obnoxiously and nauseating unconscionable and over priced for the price of only two computer units and their respective accessories," the former CLO once stated.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 29, 2013.