Peña sued over incomplete deliveries of sports equipment
MANILA — After bid-rigging allegations enabled him to interrupt the long rule of the Binay family in Makati City, former acting mayor Romulo Peña is now finding himself subject to a complaint over the purchase of sports equipment.
Peña and seven other officials were accused of graft and falsification at the Office of the Ombudsman, over the full payment of P823,195.31 for sports supplies in June 2016 even as deliveries were allegedly incomplete.
The city’s current Youth and Sports Development Department head Marlyn King, appointed during the administration of Peña’s successor Mar-Len Abigail Binay, filed the 18-page criminal complaint on March 6.
Peña was accused of “conspiring” with seven other city officials to falsify the delivery reports and release the full payment to lone bidder PMPI Creative Suites, Inc., led by its president John Co.
Besides Peña and Co, also named corespondents were: former YSDD officer-in-charge Ernesto Marcos Lopez and recreation and welfare services officer Fe Villasin; former City Treasurer’s Office OIC Amalia Santos; and General Services Department OIC Ramila Cruzado, inspection officers Carmina Lazaro and Helena Cejalvo, and GSD supply and property management division chief Sonia Suarez.
The contract was awarded in May 2016 to PMPI for the city’s yearly Sports, Music, Arts, and Recreational Training (SMART) program
According to King, the city officials during Peña’s term falsely certified the complete delivery of 272 basketballs, 112 arnis sticks, 61 shuttlecocks, 30 volleyballs, 30 footballs, 37 table tennis balls, 29 kick pads, three volleyball nets, 58 tarpaulins, 350 posters, 120 plaques, 106 medals, 3,000 certificates, and 3,000 smart identification cards.
Upon her assumption, King said she ordered an inventory because the items had not been turned over to her office. It turned out that not all purchased items have been received, which she said was confirmed by predecessor Lopez and even the supplier PMPI, which committed to finishing the deliveries.
Her complaint also cited the two-page affidavit of YSDD operations officer Gertrudis Ramirez, who stated that she did not know what happened to the items as Lopez and Villasin only allegedly ordered her to sign the acceptance and inspection reports.
“Considering, however, that the City Government of Makati has already paid the full amount of P823,195.31, the fact that not all the items in Purchase Request No. 16-05-0409 have been delivered caused damage and prejudice to the city government of Makati for which respondents should be held criminally liable,” the complaint read.
King said Peña should be held liable since he signed the documents required to purchase the items and release the payment to the supplier.
Meanwhile, she said private respondent Co “demanded and accepted full payment of the purchase price despite knowing fully well that PMPI has not made a complete delivery of the purchased items.”
Peña said to reporters: “We are firm in our stand that all projects/programs implemented under my tenure are above board, as we initiated the first open bidding system in the city hall thru our transparency and good governance policy.”
However, he said he’d have to await the copy of the complaint before responding to the allegations. SFM
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