Former Bacolod City Bids and Awards Committee chairman Goldwyn Nifras yesterday said there is no mention of “overprice raps” in the notarized complaint-affidavit of the Ombudsman regarding the procurement of furniture for the Bacolod City Government Center.
The clarification was made by Nifras in reaction to a news story entitled “Solon ordered to answer furniture overprice raps” carried in the September 4 issue of the DAILY STAR.
Nifras said the charges in the Ombudsman’s order essentially only covered three main issues: first, that the contract was awarded to a bidder, that alleged to be an IT supplier and not a furniture manufacturer.
The second issue is that the city accepted late deliveries without imposing the required liquidated damages allegedly worth P14 million; and third, that, because of the two aforementioned issues, it was concluded that the concerned city officials conspired with the winning bidder to favor it over two other bidders that were disqualified, he said.
Nifras said the charges and conclusions of the Ombudsman were based on incomplete documents, and all these charges will be completely refuted in their counter-affidavits which are now being prepared, he said.
In addition to former City Mayor and now Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia, eleven other city officials were ordered by the Ombudsman to file their counter-affidavits.
These officials include Nifras, former BAC chairman; Luz Treyes, former vice chairman; former BAC members Allan Zamora and Nelson Sedillo and Technical Working Group members Belly Aguillon, Ma. Gliceria Caduhada, Eduardo Ravena, Aladino Agbones, Jaries Encabo, BAC Secretariat head Melvin Recabar and City Treasurer Annabelle Badajos.
CLOSED AND TERMINATED
The case was filed by one of the bidders, Francisco Puey, et al, who alleged irregularity in the award of the contract of furniture and fixtures worth P50 million. The case had been recommended by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Ma. Sonnette Daquita, as “closed and terminated” in her final evaluation report dated May 9, 2011.*CGS