PBAC is to blame

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


PARE Bobby Nalzaro broke to me Thursday (11:20 a.m. here in the United States) last week the news that businessman Richard King was shot and killed. I was taken aback and could not believe it since he had friends in government.

I know Pare Bobby was not joking when he sent me the text message. But the report on King's death from the hands of a gunman in Davao City was confirmed by Sun.Star's online news when I checked the site in my Ipad.

King was shot and killed in Davao City, the turf of Mayor Rudy Duterte, which is supposed to be the safest place in the country and where people with criminal minds avoid going to.

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It looks like the killing of businessman King was intentionally done in Davao City.

Richard may not have entertained the thought of being harmed or killed in that place, so he never had a bodyguard when he was there.

The gunman may not have intended it, but the shooting to death of King in the presence of his employees in broad daylight in Davao city had shamed Mayor Duterte. That's why he put up the P300,000 prize on the head of the killer.

What's sad about King’s death is the spreading of insinuations by some social media bloggers that he allegedly had questionable business dealings. In fact, police investigators are looking into the angle of business rivalry as possible motive in the killing.

I bore no grudge, though, against Richard and his brother when they sued me and Atty. Cheking Seares with libel for my column about the big pseudoephedrine story a few years ago that involved former vice governor John-john Osmeña.

The libel charge was dismissed on appeal by former justice secretary Raul Gonzales.

The police or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should immediately solve King's murder not because he was rich but to put an end to unpleasant talks on motives. Besides, it was a crime against humankind.

I know that at the moment the police and the NBI only have theories as to the motive of the killing and the identities of the gunman and the possible mastermind. To release now the cartographic sketch of the suspect would jeopardize the investigation.

It would be better if the police would make public, with due respect to King's family, the cause of his murder once the killer or the principal is unmasked and the crime is considered solved.

***

There is no one to blame for the fiasco in the hiring of a new security agency for Capitol but the people who compose Capitol's provincial bids and awards committee (PBAC).

After several criticisms by media, Gov. Junjun Davide ordered the disqualification of Black Pearl Security Agency (BPSA), allegedly upon the recommendation of the PBAC
after its post-qualification evaluation.

It is too late though for members of the PBAC to reverse itself after it awarded the contract to BPSA as the lowest bidder and let the agency start working even before the contract could be signed.

It was either Ortega or a member of PBAC who ordered BPSA to start guarding Capitol and its properties on June 1 after the contract with Tactical Security Agency (TSA) ended on May 31.

Baltaire Balangawan, the owner of BPSA, should consider suing PBAC or Capitol for the embarrassment his firm got into. As the winning bidder, Balangawan only complied with the order of member of PBAC (or was it Ortega?) to take the posts from TSA on June 1.

BPSA is blameless in taking over from TSA on June 1 since it only acted upon the orders of PBAC, whatever was the consideration. The disqualification of BPSA by PBAC doesn't sanitize its misdeed.

On the other hand, it was Governor Davide that did the cleaning up of the mess that the PBAC left behind on the hiring of the security agency.

The people that compose PBAC may be new to their posts but that is not a reason for the governor to cover-up their misdeeds. Heads should roll for those who defile the good name and probity of the honorable governor.

(atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 19, 2014.

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