IF there is anyone who should face the complaint if Capitol’s contractors decide to file a case for their unpaid projects, it should be former governor Gwen Garcia.
This is the view of Gov. Hilario Davide III on the plan of a Capitol contractor to sue the Provincial Government if he will not be paid for the projects he implemented.
Earlier, the Commission on Audit (COA) said that the P540 million the Province paid to contractors is illegal because the transactions were not authorized by the Provincial Board (PB).
The amount was paid to contractors of 58 infrastructure projects implemented between 2008 and 2011 under Garcia’s administration.
Garcia is now the congresswoman of Cebu’s third district.
COA asked the Capitol to direct the officials responsible for the payment to be held liable for the disallowances.
Yesterday, Davide reiterated that the Capitol will not pay for some P300 million worth projects that were not approved by the PB.
“Well, the former governor because siya may nientra sa kontrata niana (she was the one who signed the contract). She authorized the contract without clearance...from the Provincial Board,” Davide said, when asked who should be the respondent if contractors will file a complaint.
Lawyer Lito Astillero, counsel of Congresswoman Garcia, said the question on who will be the respondent in the complaint should be addressed to the contractor.
“If ever the contractor will file a case against us, we will answer it in court,”
The lawyer said he pities the contractors who will not be paid for services they already rendered.
Astillero pointed out that the Province’s constituents already benefited from these projects.
In his regular press conference yesterday, Davide said he will talk to the provincial legal officer and the Local Finance Committee to discuss the steps they will take with regard to the COA report.
Davide said he will also ask for COA’s opinion on what to do with the projects that were not finished, like the provincial hospitals.
Work on some of the projects stopped when the Province decided that it will not pay for those projects not authorized by the PB.
One of the these projects is the Danao Provincial Hospital, which was undertaken by Supreme ABF Construction and Construction Supply Company Inc.
Engineer Bernabe Gilbor, president and general manager of Supreme ABF Construction, earlier said that he will sue the Province if he will not be paid.
Some of his projects have already been paid for but other projects have yet to be settled.
“One of the thrusts of our administration is to improve our health facilities. I’d like to finish these projects but if there are impediments, we will fix that,” Davide said.
He added that it is the prerogative of the contractors if they want to file a complaint against Capitol officials.