THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas was asked to investigate officials of the Provincial Government for the allegedly anomalous purchase of P227.4 million worth of heavy equipment.
Businessman Cris Saavedra asked Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente to probe Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, members of the Capitol’s bids and awards committee, Provincial Board (PB) members and the heavy equipment suppliers for the alleged violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
They allegedly connived for one particular supplier to win the bidding.
Last June, the PB approved an ordinance authorizing the governor to secure a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines to finance the acquisition of light and heavy equipment amounting to P200 million.
The board members who approved the ordinance were Jose Mari Salvador, Miguel Antonio Magpale, Glenn Bercede, Thadeo Jovito Ouano, Horacio Franco III, Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Christopher Baricuatro, Jerome Christian Librando and ex-officio officers Celestino “Tining” Martinez III and Earl Tidy Oyas.
The suppliers were identified as ConEquip Philippines Inc. and RDAK Transport Equipment Inc.
Capitol planned to buy 15 heavy equipment, including a hydraulic excavator, crawler tractor, wheel loader, motor grader, vibratory roller, forklift, man lift, self-loader, dump truck, water truck and boom truck, among others.
These will be used by the Provincial Engineering Office for the construction and maintenance of provincial roads.
“The BAC bidded out the above project and evaluated the bidding documents thru inexcusable reckless negligence by not reviewing the corporation documents and recommended for the award to a joint venture,” said Saavedra, who also joined but lost bidding for government projects in the past.
Saavedra was invited by the governor to observe the bidding last year along with media personality Bobby Nalzaro. The businessman attended the pre-bid conference but did not show up for the bidding, while Nalzaro turned down the invitation.