Manila market co-op eyes raps vs Joseph Estrada | Inquirer News
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Manila market co-op eyes raps vs Joseph Estrada

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada may face graft or plunder charges as a group of vendors at Quinta market assailed the joint venture agreement (JVA) on the renovation and private management of the facility for allegedly being “highly anomalous and illegal.”

Saying they have secured the services of lawyers, members of the Quinta Market Cooperative said the deal between City Hall and Marketlife Management & Leasing Corp. violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing “undue injury” to the group, giving unwarranted benefit to another party, and being disadvantageous to the local government.

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Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, a mayoralty aspirant in the 2016 elections, said he would support the vendors in challenging the JVA.

“Marketlife submitted an unsolicited proposal (for the upgrade and management of Quinta Market) on Sept. 15, 2014. The city’s Joint Venture Selection Committee then recommended Marketlife to be awarded the agreement the next month. However, it was only on Nov. 11, 2014, that Marketlife was registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission),” Bagatsing said on Tuesday.

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“Why was the unsolicited proposal of Marketlife made on Sept. 15, 2014, when the company did not have any personality to transact business with the city?” he asked.

Citing the JVA and Marketlife’s incorporation papers at the SEC, Bagatsing also revealed that Marketlife, incorporated last year, has a paid-up capital of only P3.2 million, or just over 3 percent of the projected construction cost of P90 million.

“How can a corporation like Marketlife with a paid-up capital of P3.2 million undertake to build, operate and manage a new Quinta Market with a construction cost of P90 million and working capital of P85 million?” he added.

The company would manage Quinta Market for 25 years, claim part of the profit for running the market, and have three representatives in the five-member management committee, the congressman added, citing the JVA.

Signing the JVA on June 16, 2015 for Marketlife was company director and treasurer Carlos Ramon Baviera. The company’s address is at Unit 2018, Mayfair Tower, UN Avenue corner Mabini Street, Ermita, Manila.

Bagatsing alleged that the deal violated both Government Procurement Reform Act and the Philippine Cooperative Act of 2009 for handing the market’s operation and management to a private company instead of giving the cooperative the chance to run it for themselves.

Manila Public Information Office chief Diego Cagahastian declined to comment, saying they would wait for the complaint to be filed.

The demolition of Quinta market started on Monday after the cooperative failed to secure a restraining order from the court last week.

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TAGS: Graft, joint venture agreement, Joseph Estrada, JVA, Manila, Plunder, Quinta Market, Quinta Market Cooperative
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