Senate panel invites wrong expert during probe on DepEd's 'overpriced' laptops | Inquirer News

Senate panel invites wrong expert during probe on DepEd’s ‘overpriced’ laptops

/ 12:40 PM September 15, 2022
Senator Francis Tolentino, whose blue ribbon committee is probing DepEd's purchase of "outdated yet overpriced", invited the wrong expert

Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino, chairperson of the blue ribbon committee, presides over the third public inquiry into the allegedly overpriced and outdated laptops procured by the Department of Education through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) on Thursday, September 15, 2022.(Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate blue ribbon committee invited the wrong expert during Thursday’s hearing on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) procurement of alleged overpriced laptops for public school teachers.

Senator and panel chair Francis Tolentino asked National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cyber Investigation and Assessment Center Director Palmer Mallari about the specifications of laptops.

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But Mallari replied that there might be confusion as he is not an expert on the matter.

“Ang amin pong (Our) expertise po is… actually [there seems to be] a confusion. We thought that you invited [us] in our capacities as cybercrime investigators po,” he told Tolentino.

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“Iba po kasi ‘yung cybercrime investigations and computer hardware po,” he added.

(Cybercrime investigations are different from the computer hardware.)

READ: COA flags DepEd purchase of ‘pricey, outdated’ laptops

Tolentino further pressed: “What you’re saying is that you’re not qualified as an expert witness?”

Mallari answered by clarifying that he is “not an expert on the quality and inferiorities or superiorities of computers and hardware.”

He also explained that it is the NBI’s digital forensics laboratory which has specialization in laptop specifications or computer hardware.

Tolentino then apologized for inviting Mallari and dispensed his presence in the hearing.

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The Senate blue ribbon committee is deliberating on DepEd’s procurement of allegedly outdated yet overpriced laptops through the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service.

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TAGS: DepEd, overpriced laptops, Senate
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