San Juan NGO eyes raps vs Comelec: Where are P16M PCOS demo centers?
The head of a San Juan City-based nongovernment organization is set to file charges against key officials of the Commission on Elections and a retired commissioner in connection with a P16-million project that the poll body had approved for the setup of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) “demonstration centers” across the country.
In an interview on Saturday, Wenceslao Tan of the San Juan Civilian Volunteers said he would consult with lawyers, including the dean of the University of the Philippines-College of Law, to determine the charges that may be filed against Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes and other officials who signed a resolution allotting funds for 23 centers that were supposedly to be used for the May 13 elections.
Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Christian Robert Lim, Maria Gracia Padaca and retired commissioner Armando Velasco signed the resolution in January, Tan told the Inquirer.
He said charges would be filed also against Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, whose recommendation became the basis for the resolution.
According to Tan, whose group has been assisting the Comelec in its information drive since 1992, the charges could be filed in the Office of the Ombudsman and would cite the Comelec’s apparent “mismanagement” of taxpayers’ money.
“Where was the money spent? Up to now, there are no demo centers,” he said.
He noted that Brillantes had not issued a clear response after he first raised the issue in the media a few days before the elections.
“The elections are already over. He isn’t that busy anymore, so why no response yet?” Tan said.
For “snubbing” the letter he sent to Comelec in April inquiring about the centers, Tan said Brillantes may also be liable for violating Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials.
In that letter, Tan said, he even offered seven possible sites for such centers “free of charge” and yet it remained unanswered.
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