Winston frowns on Capitol’s ‘corruption-free’ tarpaulin

A TARPAULIN that says “Corruption-Free Institution” hangs in front of the Provincial Capitol building, sparking criticism from One Cebu gubernatorial bet Winston Garcia’s camp.

But the administration of Gov. Hilario Davide III said that fighting corruption is one of their advocacies.

“I hope di nila tangtangon, daghan ang naglagot nga mga tao, gihilasan (I hope they won’t remove the tarpaulin. It angered a lot of people, they don’t agree with it),” said Garcia.

Capitol’s public information office (PIO) head Ethel Natera said the phrase is Davide’s campaign promise when he ran in 2013.

“He is elected into office because of that statement and he said he intends to live by that advocacy,” Natera said.

Garcia is challenging Davide of the Liberal Party (LP) in the May 9 election.

When asked last Wednesday night what he thinks of the tarpaulin, Garcia said he thinks that Davide’s administration is joking.

He said the message runs counter to what is happening in Capitol, such as the corruption-tainted bidding for the purchase of P250 million worth of heavy equipment.

The project was awarded to the highest bidder, Garcia said in an interview during the One Cebu Party general assembly.

He also cited the recent “Gasa sa Barangay” beautification project of the Province, which released P1 million to third district barangays whose officials are allied with LP.

Garcia said he will file a case against the barangay captains who received the funds and the governor for violating provisions of the Omnibus Election Code, since the checks were released less than a month before election day.

Natera recalled that in his inaugural speech in 2013, Davide declared that he is for a clean government.

The tarpaulin, she said, serves as a reminder of his advocacy to fight graft and corruption.

On accusations against the Gasa sa Barangay project and the bidding for the purchase of heavy equipment, Natera said these are mere allegations.

There were allegations that some barangay officials were told to return P750,000 of the P1 million and use only P250,000 for the project.

But Natera said no one has come out to complain that they were ordered to return bulk of the P1 million to a Capitol official, and no one executed an affidavit to support the claim.

On the purchase of the heavy equipment, Natera said they already explained that in any bidding procedure, those who submit a bid with the lowest amount does not necessarily mean that they will get the project.

She said the lowest bidder is different from “lowest calculated and responsive bid (LCRB).”

Natera said a supplier may have the lowest bid price but the item they offer does not meet the required specifications.

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