Coincidence? Contractors trapped in elevator during Makati building bidding
MANILA, Philippines — A contractor on Thursday faced the Senate to confirm that they came late for a bidding of a project in Makati City in 2007 after they were “stuck” for an hour in an elevator of the city hall.
Facing the Senate blue ribbon committee, Marcial Lichauco Jr., president and general manager of 911 Alam Inc., confirmed being trapped in an elevator of the Makati City Hall as described by former Engineer Mario Hechanova when he testified before the body last week.
To rig the biddings of projects in Makati, Hechanova, who was vice chairman of the city’s bids and awards committee, claimed that they once trapped a contractor in the elevator for 20 minutes to ensure that he would be late for submitting documents.
“I’d like to confirm that that incident described by Engineer Hechanova in his testimony happened to us on May 15, 2007. However, I’d like to clarify and correct some of the facts… exactly what happened as we were in the elevator and Hechanova was not and was presumably in bidding room the at the 9th floor of the Makati City Hall,” Lichauco said as he read his prepared statement.
He narrated that he and other officials of their company arrived at the Makati City Hall at 12:53 p.m. for the conduct of bidding scheduled at 2 p.m. on May 15, 2007.
“We entered elevator B at Makati City Hall and the elevator B got stuck somewhere close to the 7th floor,” Lichauco said.
“Makati City Hall personnel were not able to get the passengers trapped in the elevator until around 1:55 pm after lowering the elevator back to the ground floor…”
As a result, he said, they arrived at 2:02pm at the 9th floor bidding room accompanied by Makati City clinic personnel and rescue personnel.
“And thus, we’re actually trapped in the elevator for 1 hour and 2 minutes and not 20 minutes,” he said.
But contrary to what Hechanova’s claim, Lichauco said her mother, who was 97 years old then, was not in the elevator with him.
Since they were late for the bidding, Lichauco said their company filed a motion for reconsideration with the bids and awards committee and mayor’s office of Makati to reconsider the late submission of their bids.
Hechanova’s disclosure of the elevator incident was part of his testimony where he also alleged that the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building, which was the subject of the Senate investigation, was rigged.
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