‘Firing blanks without checking facts’
Malacañang on Wednesday denied allegations that corruption attended the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office’s purchase of P1.6 million worth of laptop computers.
Secretary Ricky Carandang, PCDSPO head, said assistant secretary Reginald Tongol resigned after the secretary told him to improve the way he was doing his job.
“His mistakes came one after another so I said, ‘Reg, if you can’t do this job, maybe you should look for another job,’” Carandang said.
“I was basically telling him to shape up,” he added.
In a statement, the PCDSPO denied any corruption in the questioned transaction. Opposition Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales had alleged that Tongol resigned rather than follow his boss who wanted him to sign the purchase order for the computers without the mandatory bidding.
“This is a lie, and reeks of malevolent intent and political machinations. It is a reckless statement by, of all people, a known ally of one of the most corrupt presidents this country has ever had,” the PCDSPO statement read.
“Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, in her desperation, continues to fire blanks at the administration,” it added.
The PCDSPO said its bids and awards committee has always followed all government rules and regulations. In the case of the computers, two public biddings were conducted; these involved publication of the call for bids.
“The public biddings failed twice. The PCDSPO then proceeded with a negotiated purchase, as government rules stipulate. This required corresponding resolutions by the BAC, who holds meetings with a COA auditor present,” the statement said.
“All purchases were made at market prices with a scrupulous regard for the people’s money. Anyone who wishes to see the documents and receipts is welcome to do so,” it added.
In a press conference, Magsaysay and Minority Leader Edcel Lagman urged President Aquino to ‘‘walk the talk” and focus his anticorruption efforts against his own people rather on the opposition only.
The opposition congressmen said the assistant secretary had resigned ‘‘out of disgust” after refusing to sign the purchase order.
Magsaysay said that the President ‘‘should walk the talk if he sees any anomalies under his nose.”
Malacañang said anyone who wanted to see the documents and receipts ‘‘is welcome to do so.”
‘‘We wish to remind her (Magsaysay) to first check her facts before opening her mouth, as is her habit,” the Palace statement said. ‘‘Mitos Magsaysay has once again shown her incompetence as a political operative with her blatant disregard for the truth.” With a report from Gil Cabacungan Jr.
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