SC asked to stop ‘irregular’ P3-B Austria fire truck deal | Inquirer News

SC asked to stop ‘irregular’ P3-B Austria fire truck deal

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 04:35 AM April 22, 2017

The Supreme Court was asked to act promptly on a petition seeking to stop the allegedly irregular deal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to buy P3 billion worth of fire trucks from Austria, which cost Ismael Sueno, a close friend of President Duterte, his job as DILG head.

In a 17-page motion,  former Abakada  representative Jonathan Dela Cruz told the high court that red flags on the deal had already been raised when Mr. Duterte fired Sueno because of it.

“But it appears that nothing will deter, prevent and stop the culpable parties from fleecing money from public coffers,” his urgent motion to the high court said.


Dela Cruz had petitioned the tribunal in June 2016 to issue a temporary restraining order against the fire truck deal, saying the two contracts covering the deal were unconstitutional.


Despite Mr. Duterte’s suspicion that the deal was tainted with corruption, Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III said the deal would proceed since it was already a “perfected contract.”

Densing also said there was no legal impediment since the high court has yet to grant Dela Cruz’s petition.

Dela Cruz said the DILG decision showed “evil human nature at work when colossal amounts involved in these supply contracts serve as magnetic attractions to people in government.”

The petition said unless the high court stopped the deal, the contracts “will cause grave and irreparable damage” to taxpayers and the public.

In an interview, Romero said the order of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Director Bobby Baruelo to inspect 14 of the fire trucks that arrived at the Batangas City port on Wednesday was a signal for DILG and BFP officials to “unlawfully proceed with the payment.”

“This despite a pending case before the Supreme Court for nullification of the contract,” Romero said.


He said the DILG had also issued a legal opinion barring Sueno from proceeding with the deal until the high court ruled on Dela Cruz’s petition.

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TAGS: Abakada, BFP, surpeme court

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