COA official: ‘There were indications Makati building bidding was rigged’
MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Commission on Audit told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that there were “indications” that the bidding for the construction of the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building was rigged.
Commissioner Jose Fabia gave this assessment when asked by Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV during the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee if the COA had found any indications that the bidding was rigged in the construction of the parking building.
Trillanes initially asked the question to Alexander Juliano, director of COA’s fraud audit office, who presented to the committee last week their initial evaluation on the project.
“Based on the report that was read last week…meron po bang rigged bidding na nangyari (Did a rigged bidding happen)?” asked Trillanes.
“As of now, I can’t make a conclusion yet your honor…” Juliano said.
And when the senator pressed to confirm that there were indications that the bidding was rigged, Juliano said, “ These are indicators your honors but I can’t make the final…” but Trillanes interrupted him, saying: “Masyado kang nerboyoso Atty. Juliano. Hindi ka mapapahamak, it was clarified… (You are too nervous, Atty. Juliano. You won’t be jeopardized, it was clarified).”
The senator then asked point blank the official to answer yes or no, and when Juliano could not give an immediate answer, Trillanes directed his question to Fabia;
“There are indications that the bidding was rigged,” Fabia said, but was quick to clarify that the auditors had not considered yet the pieces of evidence presented during the ongoing hearing in the Senate.
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