Initial bidding for license plates allegedly included P500M worth of screws — Gordon
MANILA, Philippines — The initial bidding for vehicle license plates allegedly included P500 million for the procurement of screws, Senator Richard Gordon said Thursday.
“Nabalitaan ko pa noong unang bidding, ang sinasabi meron daw sinama doon sa bidding na P500 million na worth ng turnilyo para sa plate number. Akalain mo ‘yun, pati turnilyo pinagkakwartahan,” Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(I heard that from the first bidding, there is P500 million worth of screws that should be procured for the plate numbers. Can you believe that? They even want to make money with the screws.)
“Pwede ka naman kumuha ng kahit anong turnilyo pero inobliga sila, ‘bumili kayo, isama niyo sa presyo ‘yung turnilyo’. Limang daang milyon ang inilabas doon, noong 2013 hanggang 2016,” he added.
(They can get any kind of screw but the bidders were obligated to buy and include the screws in the price. It amounted to P500 million in 2013 to 2016.)
Gordon said officials responsible for the alleged anomalies in the provision of the license plates should be guilty of graft and corruption.
“Talagang graft ang corruption ang pupuntahan nito, ‘yan ang magiging recommendation ngayon pa lang ang sinasabi ko, because they caused undue injury to lahat ng partido: motorcycle riders, ‘yung ating mga consumer. Therefore, ‘yung mga dapat ay makasakay sa kanilang sariling sasakyan ay tinamaan ‘yan. Kaya anti-graft and corrupt practices ‘yan apart from yung pagnanakaw sa gobyerno,” he said.
(They should be declared guilty of graft and corruption. That will be the recommendation. It’s because they caused undue injury to all parties involved: the motorcycle riders and consumers. Those who have their own vehicles were affected. That’s why officials responsible for it should be guilty of the graft and corrupt practices.)
In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Gordon berated current and former officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for allegedly defrauding Filipinos of P3.8 billion worth of vehicle license plates.
In 2016, former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and six other officials of the defunct Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and LTO faced graft charges for the purchase of P3.8 billion worth of license plates during the Aquino administration.
Lawyer Al Vitangcol, former Metro Rail Transit 3 general manager, led the filing of the case by the Citizens Crime Watch and Liga ng Explosibong Pagbabago against Abaya and the other officials before the Department of Justice.
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