Pimentel wants P2.4 billion paid to DepEd laptop suppliers recovered
MANILA, Philippines — The Ombudsman must also look into the culpability of suppliers in the botched P2.4-billion laptop purchase of the Department of Education (DepEd), Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Saturday.
Aside from exacting accountability from government personnel behind the irregular laptop purchases, the government must likewise exert efforts to recover the public funds paid to the suppliers, he said.
“It is equally vital to thoroughly examine the role of the contractor in this anomalous transaction, from its background to how it secured the contract,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel made the call after the Office of the Ombudsman imposed preventive suspensions on officials of the DepEd and the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) over the purchase of “outdated and overpriced” laptops for teachers.
DepEd officials suspended
In his Aug. 23 order, Ombudsman Samuel Martires suspended for six months without pay ranking DepEd officials that included Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, finance division head; and former Undersecretary Alain del Pascua, administration and procurement head; Assistant Secretary Salvador Malana III; and Abram Abanil, director for information and communications of DepEd.
Also ordered preventively suspended were current and former DBM officials including Lloyd Christopher Lao, former PS-DBM head; Jasonmer Uayan, former PS-DBM officer in charge; procurement officers Ulysses Mora and Marwan Amil.