Rama faces raps for market project

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita October 03,2016 - 11:18 PM
RAMA (FILE PHOTO)

RAMA (FILE PHOTO)

Former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama and the members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) during his tenure are facing an administrative and criminal complaint filed yesterday by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña at the Ombudsman.

The complaint of grave misconduct and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act stemmed from the construction project of the Carbon Market Unit II.

“Because they keep blaming me for the failure, so let the Ombudsman decide whose failure it is. There was a winning bidder that was disqualified. There are so many questionable items here. But the two glaring anomalies is that Geety is not qualified to handle that project,” the mayor said in yesterday’s press conference.

In his complaint, Osmeña alleged that the officials “conspired and connived” to award the P167 million Carbon Market Unit II project to Geety Realty and Development Corp. even if the firm is unqualified to undertake the project.

He said based on the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) license given to Geety, they are only allowed to undertake project with a maximum amount of P100 million.

“This lack of capacity and/or capability of Geety Realty and Development Corp. to undertake the project is the main reason as to why the contractor failed to finish the project on time despite several extensions,” his complaint read.

Osmeña earlier ended Geety’s contract with the city for the project due to its unjustified delays.

The project started in April 2013 and was supposed to be finished within a year after.

But until now, the project has not been completed.

He said the BAC should have scrutinized the requirements and qualifications of the winning bidder.

Aside from former mayor Rama, also named respondents were former BAC Infrastructure and Consulting Services members Rafael Yap, Jose Marie Poblete, Dominic Diño, Eustaquio Cesa, Alipio Bacalso Jr. and Ester Concha.

BAC Technical Working Group Head Jose Daluz III and Andrea Tan, the owner and proprietor of Geety, were also included in the complaint.

Osmeña also included in his complaint a decision from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which found Geety to have submitted a “spurious tax clearance” to PCAB to support the renewal of their contractor license.

“Because of the BAC’s manifest partiality towards the contractor Geety Realty and Development Corp., it did not verify, validate, and ascertain the contractor’s licenses, certificates, permits, etc.,” Osmeña said.

Rama said he has yet to receive and check a copy of the complaint.

“I can’t answer it right now. I still don’t have the copy. If and when I will be able to read it, then I will comment and refer the matter to my legal team,” Rama said.
Yap, who heads the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project implementation office, also declined to comment.
He also said he has yet to receive and review a copy of the complaint.

“I will just respond in the proper forum,” Yap said.

Osmeña admitted that while he feels bad about including Yap in his complaint, Yap also has to answer and defend his involvement in the issue.

He said Yap will stay with CCTO since he is doing a good job in managing the city’s traffic.

“Why did he approve? He was the head of the BAC. You know, I think in many cases, they are just being pressured from the top. You approve this, you approve that,” the mayor said.

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TAGS: Acting Cebu City Mayor Margarita Osmeña, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, BAC, Carbon Market, CCTO, Geety, Geety Realty and Development Corp, Michael Rama, Ombudsman, Osmeña, Rama, Tomas Osmeña

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