Maliksi, Juico, several PCSO execs sued for deals sans bids
MANILA — Graft charges were filed Wednesday against former and incumbent officials of the Philippine Charities and Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), including its chair Erineo Maliksi and his predecessor Margarita Juico, over the extension of contracts for the lease of lottery terminals without public bidding.
The Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines (ATM) filed the complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman alleging irregularities in the renewal of contracts awarded to Philippine Gaming and Management Corp. (PGMC) and Pacific Online Systems Corp. (POSC), in March and August 2015, respectively.
PCSO, according to the complaint, has been leasing the equipment from the two companies for its operations, including lotto and small-town lottery, since 1995.
ATM chair Leon Peralta said there was “dubious conduct and motive” in the actions of the officials in extending the lease contracts for the two companies without the benefit of a public bidding.
In an interview, he said he was not aware of how much the contracts cost the government, but knew for a fact that the equipment contracts had already expired at least twice.
“What we’re saying is that upon expiration, the contracts should have been rebid,” he told reporters.
The complaint stated that “the technology used by PGMC and PSOC is not exclusively distributed or owned by said lessors but readily available and used by other companies, thus other entities can offer better pricing or more advanced technology better suited for the security and efficiency of lotto operations in the country.”
It said the extension of the contracts for the two companies was grossly disadvantageous to the government and patently violated several provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The complainant said Maliksi had acted “in connivance and conspiracy” with members of the PCSO’s bids and awards committee.
Asked why Juico was included in the complaint, Peralta said: “The first renewal was still under Juico, and the next one was upon Maliksi’s assumption of office.”
Juico resigned in May 2014, but Maliksi was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III to replace her only in April 2015.
Also named respondents were PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, assistant general manager Conrado Zabella, PCSO board members Florencio Noel, Betty Nantes, Mabel Mamba, and Francisco Joaquin III, and members of the PCSO’s bids and awards committee.
The complainant also sought the preventive suspension of Maliksi and the other sitting officials pending the Ombudsman’s investigation into the case, and subsequently, their removal from office, and disqualification from holding public office. SFM
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