Bacolod GSO head believes Ombud case will be junked

BACOLOD City General Services Office head Jerome Solinap said Friday, June 9, that he expects the complaints filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman relative to the purchase of the P3.9-million, 61-seater city tourist bus to be dismissed.

Solinap was the chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee when the city bus was purchased on February 23, 2016 by the City Government under former mayor Monico Puentevella.

The administrative and criminal complaints were filed by Samuel Montoyo, chairman of Save Bacolod Movement Inc. and executive assistant of Mayor Evelio Leonardia, against Puentevella and Solinap.

Also included were Josephus Cerna, assistant city engineer and former member of the BAC Technical Working Group; and Harry James Magbanua, maintenance foreman and bus driver.

Solinap said he will answer the charges filed by Montoyo, who stated in his affidavit that he is a taxpayer and registered voter of Bacolod.

“I have not yet received a copy of the complaint from the Ombudsman. We will answer that in the appropriate time and forum,” he said.

Montoyo said in a press conference that although it is stated in the purchase order and in Nikka Trading’s delivery receipt and sales invoice that the engine is brand-new, a certification from the Land Transportation Office dated August 31, 2016 showed that engine number is not brand-new.

Solinap, who also questioned why the driver was included in the complaints, said the City Government bought a vehicle with a brand-new engine and not a brand-new bus.

He added that the prevailing cost of a brand-new bus ranges from P7 million to P8 million.
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