THE University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) management has firmly dismissed what appeared to be corruption allegations made public by contractor Engineer Selwyn Lao against the murdered university president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras and former project architect Rey Galua, who is now temporarily detained.

In a three-page statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the USTP denied the "under the table transactions" and the "sharing scheme" allegedly initiated by Rotoras and supposedly brokered by Galua after the P200 million-worth project Student Center and Education Complex was awarded to Lao.

"The university, under the leadership of Dr. Rotoras, has implemented various construction projects in the past. In his 11 years as President, he completed these projects successfully, with not a single allegation of corruption," the statement said.

The USTP statement said it was Lao's actions that caused the termination of the contract, pointing out that he violated provisions of the contract particularly, subcontracted without authority a portion of the works to a third party, made unauthorized substitution of key personnel, and failure to deploy key personnel committed under the contract.

Lao accordingly filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Board of Regents in February 2017. He also did not pursue his case by elevating it to the courts.

The USTP also insisted that the project accomplishment is only about 39 percent, and not 60 percent as what was earlier disclosed by Lao. The 39 percent accomplishment, the USTP said, was even verified by the University's Project Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) and the university's inspectorate team, and re-affirmed by the university's Project Management Office (PMO).

According to USTP, the `bored piling’, which Lao said he was made to do eventhough it was not stipulated in the contract, was a requirement under the standards and rules of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

"The award of the project to Engr. Lao was made upon the recommendation of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) after the conduct of public bidding and in accordance to the Procurement Law and its implementing rules and regulations," the statement said.

The USTP statement also revealed that Galua was sued by the Board of Regents after, in the course of the project construction, Galua was found to have partnered with Lao as Wing-An Construction's Design and Supervising Architect in its construction project in Don Carlos, Bukidnon.

The USTP said "the recent turn of events adds grave insult to the injury not just to Dr. Rotoras but also to his family and the entire USTP community".

"We strongly condemn the allegations of corruption against our beloved university president, who was known not just for his far-reaching and innovative contributions to higher education, but also for his strength of character and unquestionable integrity," it says.

"These allegations of Engr. Selwyn Lao, president of Wing-an Construction which was contractor of the unfinished P200M eight-storey Student Center and Education Complex, published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro on January 17,2018, come at a time when Dr. Rotoras cannot defend himself anymore. We strongly condemn this malicious tactic to malign the memory of a good and honorable man," the statement adds.

Meanwhile, Eldie Rotoras, older brother of Dr. Rotoras, said the family chooses to "ignore these statements".

"We will let justice and truth prevail," he said.