Acting mayor Pena sued over allegedly overpriced cakes

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2015 03:42 PM | Updated as of Sep 29 2015 11:42 PM

MANILA - Former Makati City Vice Mayor Roberto Brillante accused acting Makati Mayor Romulo Peña of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for purchasing allegedly overpriced cakes for senior citizens.

(READ: Makati 'cake wars' escalate)

In a 47-page complaint, Brillante said Peña cancelled the contract of the Makati government with Timstate/Bakerite Food and Beverage Corporation in favor of Goldilocks Inc.

Brillante claimed that Peña awarded an P8.666 million contract to Goldilocks to supply 31,187 cakes from August to December 2015 with each cake worth P280.

Brillante said that while the Goldilocks cake is 26 pesos lower than the Bakerite brand, it is 9 inches in diameter but only 2 inches in height which is half the height of Bakerite's.

He said that the city government paid P3.036 million more than it should otherwise pay for the same volume of cakes.

He also accused Peña of violating Republic Act No 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

FAVORED BAKESHOP?

Peña earlier told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" there is only a small difference in the size of the cakes from the previous supplier, which provided 9"x4" cakes.

"Napakaliit ng diperesenya. Ganito yun, malaki nga e ampaw naman. Ayoko pong magsalita ng kahit ano pa man. Ang tinitignan po natin dito ay yung mura na, masarap pa. Kaya ko po sinasabi Goldilocks kasi yun po ang parating nababanggit lagi. Kung ikaw ay pangkaraniwan katulad ko, hindi ka na mag aasam-asam ng mas mahal pero mag-iisip ka. Ano ba diyan ang mura na masarap pa?" he asked.

A spokesman of the acting mayor also said Goldilocks simply makes better quality cakes.

Pena denied that he favored Goldilocks in the bidding, saying that there are several popular bakeshops in Makati.

He pointed out that he has "no influence, no friends and no name in the boards of directors" of these popular bakeshops.

Makati's cake contract has come under scrutiny after it was learned that the previous supplier, Cups & Mugs Kitchenette & Catering Services, has links with the family of former Makati Mayor and now Vice-President Jejomar Binay.

A Court of Appeals freeze order showed that Cups & Mugs Kitchenette owner Kim Tun Chong has a separate business with Sen. Nancy Binay, Congresswoman Mar-Len Abigail Binay and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay.

Cups and Mugs Kitchenette had supplied birthday cakes distributed by Makati City Hall for senior citizens, and also has a contract to manage the cafeteria at Makati City Hall and Ospital ng Makati from 2009 to 2011. A preliminary investigation showed that Cups & Mugs was paid by Makati City government a total of P107.64 million in the three year period -- 2009 - P35.94 million; 2010 - P42.11 million; and 2011 - P29.59 million.