Stop work on P1-B resource center: Garcia to Davide, contractor

TORN DOWN FOR NOTHING: WT Construction Inc. has demolished the old Bureau of Agriculture-Extension building that stood on the lot (foreground) where it is to build the 20-story Provincial Resource Center. But Cebu governor-elect Gwen Garcia has warned outgoing Gov. Hilario Davide III and WT that she will not honor the agreement between WT and the Capitol to construct the building when she assumes office. (SunStar photo / Allan Cuizon)

THE outgoing Capitol administration and a private contractor were warned against continuing work on the 20-story Provincial Resource Center.

In separate letters dated Monday, June 3, 2019, the camp of returning governor and outgoing Third District Rep. Gwen Garcia formally expressed the governor-elect’s contention to not include the P1-billion project in her program of government when she assumes office at noon of June 30.

Members of Garcia’s transition team composed of lawyers Marino Martinquilla, Frank Eduard Dinsay V and Manolette Dinsay hand-delivered the letters to the Office of the Governor Monday morning.

These were addressed to incoming vice governor and outgoing Gov. Hilario Davide III and WT Construction Inc. vice president Willy Te.

Signed by Frank Dinsay, the letter to Davide read: “While you may justify the ongoing earth works to be within your administration’s term of office and therefore your prerogative as the incumbent governor, prudence dictates that you immediately discontinue the project bearing in mind the irreversible economic loss that the said works will entail given that the incoming governor has already declared, in no uncertain terms, that the project is not part of her program of government and that she never agreed to it. It is quite obvious that the ongoing earth works will have zero beneficial use since the project will definitely be discontinued by the incoming administration.”

In the same letter, all concerned Capitol department heads were also warned not to process billings related to the project.

“They should not be complicit in this wasteful endeavor,” the letter said.

The letter to Te was signed by Martinquilla.

“It has come to our knowledge that despite the stern warning of (governor-elect) Garcia, you persist in continuing the Torre ni Davide project knowing fully well that such insistence would cause substantial economic loss to the province of Cebu and to your company once she assumes the Office of the Provincial Governor,” reads a portion of the letter.

Martinquilla said the letters served as “final notice” that Garcia would not honor the contract of agreement between WT and the Capitol signed last Feb. 15 when she assumes office.

“You are hereby warned to cease and desist from continuing any and all constructions and activities relative to said project,” he said.

Several calls were made by SunStar Cebu to WT Construction, but the latter could not be reached.

Davide’s camp already filed its reply to the petition for injunction filed by Garcia’s camp before the Regional Trial Court of Toledo City last March 26.

“(On another point,) the signing and execution of the contract with the winning bidder for the implementation of the project, after the completion of the bidding process in accordance with the law, is a valid and legitimate exercise of (respondent Governor) Davide as the local chief executive (of the Province) and head of the procuring entity,” read a portion of the counter statement of facts.

Davide, citing a 2008 Supreme Court en banc decision, said seeking Provincial Board authority to enter into a contract with the winning bidder was no longer necessary since the project was “already identified and specified with sufficient detail” under an approved appropriation ordinance in June 2018. (RTF)


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