Lawyer questions bidding process for indelible ink

ONE of the whistleblowers in the ballot secrecy folder in the 2010 elections is questioning the bidding for the indelible ink to be used in the May 13 midterm polls.

Lawyer Melchor Magdamo asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to check the ongoing procurement process of the ink for possible violations of the Government Procurement Reform Act or Republic Act 9184.

“At any rate, considering Philtint & Color Specialist Inc.’s controversial roots traceable to the infamous OTC Paper Supply, it is wise for the Honorable Resident Ombudsman to be more vigilant in monitoring the ongoing procurement of indelible ink,” he said in a letter to the Ombudsman.

Philtint has been declared as the lowest calculated bid in the P73.2-million contract for the supply of the 520,000 bottles of indelible ink and is currently undergoing post-qualification screening.

Magdamo said the owners of Philtint are related to the owners of OTC with its president Mae Syki Young being the wife of OTC Manager Henry Kwok Young.

He said Philtint has the same office address with OTC, which is 451 de la Cruz Street, Santa Quiteria, Caloocan City.

Magdamo, who used to be a lawyer in the office of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo, exposed the anomaly that prompted the poll body to recall the awarding of the folder procurement contract to OTC after discovering that the cost is overpriced.

Dr. Arwin Serrano, former Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) representative to the Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), also exposed the overcharged contract.

Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said there is nothing that prevents Philtint or OTC from participating in the bidding proceedings.

“I think what is important in any bidding is that the lowest bidder has the quality. It does not matter whether they have a previous (record). They are not blacklisted anyway,” he said.

Brillantes said that once Philtint passes the post-qualification, they will reward the project to them. (FP/Sunnex)

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