Guard from security firm in question accidentally fires gun, hits motorcycle driver

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014


A SECURITY guard from Black Pearl Security Agency (BPSA) assigned at a Province-owned lot in Barangay Apas, Cebu City accidentally fired his shotgun and hit a habal-habal driver, yesterday.

With the incident, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III wants a review the Province’s engagement with the BPSA.

“This may have a bearing on the post-qualification proceeding, which is still being conducted by the BAC (bids and awards committee),” Davide said.

The BPSA personnel started serving Capitol last June 1, after the Province’s contract with Tactical Security Agency Inc. (TSAI) expired last May 31.

Volunteered

Earlier, Davide said the BPSA voluntarily offered to start even though the BAC had not yet issued a notice of award.

Provincial Chief Security Officer Loy Madrigal said that security guard Reynante Cemanes was sitting inside the guard house in Sitio Calvary Hills at 7:45 a.m. when Saturnino Bentazal, 30, a resident, came.

Madrigal said that when Cemanes moved, his firearm discharged and eventually hit Bentazal.

He said the bullet passed through the wall of the guard house and hit Bentazal in his buttocks.

The barangay tanods responded first and called for an ambulance.

Although the victim was in stable condition, Madrigal said Bentazal needs to undergo an operation.

The chief security officer said he only learned about the incident when one of his personnel conducted a roving in the site.

Madrigal said his staff was just informed by the residents.

His staff was able to report to him at 1:30 p.m.

“Ang opisina sa Black Pearl wa mopahibaw (Black Pearl did not inform me)... They failed to call me and they failed to call my assistant,” Madrigal said.

He said the security personnel and the BPSA supervisor were clearly instructed to report to him any incident.

He said they have no excuse that they cannot call him because he gave his contact numbers.

As of 7 p.m. yesterday, Madrigal said he never heard any statement from the official of the BPSA.

He said Cemanes was relieved.

Bidders

There were five security agencies who joined the bidding in Capitol.

The other four security agencies that joined the bidding were Davao Cavaliers Security Agency (DCSA), Care Best Security Agency (CBSA), GDS Security and Detective Agency and TSAI.

DCSA and CBSA were disqualified after defects in their eligibility documents were seen.

The three agencies left identical bid offers, but BPSA won, based on the available equipment and tools they have.

However, the Capitol cannot yet award BPSA the contract after the BAC saw inconsistencies in the technical requirement during the post-qualification.

BAC asked the opinion of the Government Procurement Policy Board under the Department of Budget and Management about the matter.

The governor said he will also ask the Provincial General Services Office on reports that there are some BPSA security personnel who have no firearms.

Davide said it will also be possible that he might do recommendations after what happened in Apas.

False accusation

Meanwhile, the owner of Black Pearl Security Agency yesterday said all the allegations hurled against his company after winning the bidding are false and they will leave the matter to the BAC.

Balter Balangawan said Black Pearl won the “very transparent bidding” last May 20 because they submitted the best offer.

Secondly, they’ve complied with all the requirements and submitted all the original documents.

“Is it a crime to win a bidding? Most winners were declared heroes, but in this case, the winner became a martyr. Had I known that my security agency will end up being battered by false accusations, I would not have participated in the bidding,” Balangawan said.

He said his company was immediately judged by members of the media based on the false accusations.

“Do you think we will participate in the government bidding if we have no SSS (Social Security System) clearance or business permit? Definitely, no. The bidding was beyond our control and we won. What’s wrong with that?” Balangawan said.

Balangawan is the second nominee of the Anad Partylist in the 2010 election. Former congressman Pastor Alcover Jr. was the first nominee.

But he said he never engaged in partisan politics.

Balangawan said that contrary to false accusations, his company has enough firearms for their existing guards. The reason some guards were not carrying firearms when they took over Capitol and the south bus terminal was to avoid a firefight because the guards from the Tactical Security Agency were arrogant.

He said when his guards told the Tactical guards that they will replace them, the latter grumbled, suggesting a gunfight.

“I told my guards to keep calm and be friendly to the Tactical guards to prevent violence. That’s why some Black Pearl guards told the Tactical guards, “Pasensiya na mo, brod. Ari lang mi sa daplin (Pardon us, brod. We’ll just stay in the corner),” Balangawan said.

He said it is in the terms of reference that the winning bidder is given three months by BAC, from the issuance of the notice of awards, to purchase more firearms if there’s a need.

That is why they are applying with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame for the issuance of permit for Black Pearl to buy more firearms.

“The firearms are not like candies that we can immediately buy from the store,” Balangawan said.

Talisay City

On the Talisay City issue, Balangawan said his agency only provides security services and there was no issue until this time that they won the Capitol bidding.

“If they have some questions on the security services they’ve provided to the Talisay City Government, they must address that to Mayor JVR (Johnny V. delos Reyes) and not Black Pearl,” Balangawan said.

He said their detractors must know that Black Pearl is an efficient security agency and the proof is that their clients keep on renewing their contracts with it.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 12, 2014.

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