Tom: No payment of P32-M without court order
ONLY a court order can compel Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña into paying the P32 million being demanded by a private landfill firm as payment for its services back in 2016.
“Of course if the court says. Let the court decide that’s the law,” Osmeña told reporters during yesterday’s press conference.
Last week, the city government received a copy of the complaint filed by Asian Energy Systems Corp. at the Regional Trial Court in Parañaque City where its main office is located.
The P32 million would go to paying the tipping fee owed to the landfill operator from January to June of 2016 during the administration of former mayor Michael Rama.
Osmeña said paying the P32 million to Asian Energy Systems Corp. may invite a disallowance from the Commission on Audit (COA).
He maintained that the deal entered into between Asian Energy Systems and the previous Rama administration was anomalous.
“You know there’s fraud in all. They used the excuse that there is no other provider of the service. The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) listed 10 providers of the service. So it’s not true,” the mayor said.
Osmeña said a contract should be bidded out before an agreement is signed between the city and a private company.
“They just avoided the bidding and there was no contract either signed or approved by the City Council. So it’s better that they sue, let the court decide,” the mayor said.
Vice Mayor Edgar Labella who is allied with Rama said there was no need for a contract.
“It has been the contention of the previous administration that the purchase order (PO) itself is the contract because there was a budget intended for garbage disposal. It has been practiced for several years,” Labella told the reporters.
Labella said the services were bidded out and no one challenged the legality of the bidding.
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