QC govt refutes Defensor’s latest expose', issues counter-challenge | Inquirer News

QC govt refutes Defensor’s latest expose’, issues counter-challenge

By: - Contributor / @inquirerdotnet
/ 04:58 PM March 19, 2022

QC Defensor

Quezon City Legal Officer Atty. Niño Casimiro clarifies purchase order in press conference

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government, through City Legal Head Atty. Niño Casimiro, once again dismissed claims by Anakalusugan Representative and QC mayoralty candidate Mike Defensor that there were instances of overpricing during the city’s COVID-19 relief and assistance operations last year.

Defensor’s latest allegation involves a purchase order wherein one of the individual line items of an aggregated bid showed that the supplier listed their price for a 50 kilogram sack of rice at P5,000.


Casimiro emphasized that this was once again a case of Defensor cherry-picking specific details to suit his agenda, rather than taking the purchase order as a whole document. “I’m sure that the good Congressman is very familiar with the concept of a ‘lot bid’, which is when items are grouped together to form one complete lot, and awarded as one contract,” he outlined. “The cost of the individual items are therefore irrelevant, as it is only the final, total price of the entire contract that should be considered. In this case, the winning bidder submitted the lowest aggregate cost, well below the Approved Budget for Contract, or ABC,” Casimiro underscored.

margie santos

Quezon City Bids and Awards Committee chairperson Margie Santos with Atty Casimiro.

Quezon City Bids and Awards Committee on Goods and Services chairperson Margie Santos further explained that it is against regulation for the city to interfere with how a particular supplier presents their costing per individual item, for as long as all listed items are complete, and the total contract cost still remains the lowest.

“The simplest and best analogy is this: you asked two people to offer you a specific basket of groceries, including a set quantity of rice, noodles, sausages, vegetables, and other items. Both came back with exactly the same basket, but one was priced P500, while the other P400. After buying the P400 basket, would it matter what the individual price of each item was? Suppliers have their own pricing strategies, and we cannot interfere with that. What’s important is that the city paid the lowest price, equal to or below the ABC, and got the requirement we needed,” she said.

“To be honest, it’s almost quite sad that Cong. Defensor is once again using his tired old tactics. It’s like he keeps on quoting from the same book, when the very author of the book himself has already publicly said that his (Defensor’s) interpretation is wrong,” Casimiro explained, in reference to Commission on Audit (COA) reports that the party-list representative repeatedly uses with regard to his allegations.

“In the past few months, Cong. Defensor has nitpicked bits and pieces of QC’s 2020 COA report, and has made sensationalized  accusations without fully disclosing the full context. The Commission itself finally issued a very clear statement that there were absolutely no findings of irregularity during that year. As a double black-eye, the COA even awarded the city with the highest audit rating it has ever received throughout its history,” Casimiro pointed out. “Now, despite this rather embarrassing shutdown, he is back again, using the same modus. Mukhang desperado na (it appears he is desperate),” the lawyer added.

Instead of deliberately trying to mislead the public, Casimiro issued a counter-challenge to Defensor.

“During the height of his grandstanding about these overprice allegations, Cong. Defensor actually dared the COA to submit to his office a Technical Review of Quezon City transactions. We have received reports that the COA has obliged, and has sent him this report. Congressman Defensor, if QC’s transactions are as questionable as you say they are, why don’t you release this Technical Review to the public? That should be very, very enlightening as to who is telling the truth,” he concluded.

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TAGS: Mike Defensor, Quezon City

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