Comelec: Uy ties to Duterte not ground to disqualify bid | Inquirer News

Comelec: Uy ties to Duterte not ground to disqualify bid

/ 04:56 AM August 25, 2021

Sheriff Abas

Sheriff Abas

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) would not void the P1.61-billion contract awarded to F2 Logistics Philippines to transport election equipment and supplies for the May 9, 2022, elections despite the company’s reported links to a prominent campaign contributor of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas and Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Davao businessman Dennis Uy’s ties to the president was not a ground to disqualify F2 Logistics, which won in a public bidding to handle the deployment of election equipment, forms, supplies and paraphernalia and warehousing for the national and local elections next year.


“It’s not automatic that he is disqualified because he (Uy) was a contributor. We know that many businessmen are major contributors to different [politicians] so it’s not automatic” that they are disqualified from Comelec contracts, Abas said during Monday’s online launch of Comelec’s voter registration partnership with Ayala Malls.


Still being assessed

The Comelec chair nevertheless said he had ordered the Comelec’s special bids and awards committee (BAC) to look into Uy’s links to F2 Logistics.

The poll body has not yet issued the notice of award since F2 Logistics is undergoing postqualification assessment, according to Abas.

“I instructed our special BAC to look into it because it’s better to clarify the matter. But based on what I know initially, [Uy]does not own F2 but 2GO,” he said, referring to another shipping and logistics company.

In another interview, Guanzon said companies that donated to winning candidates cannot be automatically disqualified from bidding for Comelec contracts.

“We have bidding rules. We have the COA (Commission on Audit). It is not a ground for disqualification. F2 is a corporation. It’s not the name of Dennis Uy that is in the bidding (documents); it is F2. Dennis Uy is the contributor,” Guanzon said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

‘That is not right’

“If that is so, does it mean we will have to disqualify the companies that donate to winning candidates? That is not right. That will make us biased if we refuse to award projects to companies just because they donated to campaigns,” she added.


Uy, whose business empire has grown several-fold during the Duterte administration, serves as chair of F2 Logistics and CEO of Udenna Corp., part of the consortium that won the contract to be the Philippines’ third telco player.

The businessman admitted being close to Mr. Duterte during a Senate hearing in January 2019 and was among the top contributors to Mr. Duterte’s 2016 presidential campaign with a P30-million contribution.

De Lima resolution

Sen. Leila de Lima has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the impending award of the Comelec contract, saying any “whiff of cronyism” and “semblance of conflict of interest” should be avoided.

“Even a whiff of cronyism and the slightest accusation of possible corruption must warrant public concern for these to threaten the people’s right of suffrage,” De Lima said in a statement from Camp Crame on Sunday.

De Lima said lawmakers were duty-bound to protect election processes “from even suspicions of cheating, manipulation and irregularities by disqualifying suppliers with known links to identified political parties and possible candidates.”

“Any transaction or contract that would erode public trust in government, and in the objectivity of civil service, must be put under the strictest scrutiny,” she added.

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The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday announced that Mr. Duterte had accepted the group’s nomination for him to run as vice president to his former aide, Sen. Bong Go, in the coming elections.

TAGS: Comelec, Dennis Uy, Logistics

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