Comelec: Nothing irregular about deployment contract

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2013 03:12 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2013 11:12 PM

MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes dismissed claims of irregularities in the bidding for the contract of the deployment of election paraphernalia for the midterm election.

Last week, former Comelec employee and whistleblower in the 2010 ballot secrecy folder case, Melchor Magdamo, gave members of the media a copy of his complaint at the Ombudsman against Brillantes.

Magdamo is referring to Air21’s bid price for the deployment of election paraphernalia, which was originally pegged at P302.195 million.

"Mysteriously, long after completion of post qualification proceedings, in another document that is almost identical word-for-word and in appearance to the original document, in exactly the same bid of AIR21 for exactly the same deployment services, the bid price ‘dagdag’ by P187.88542240 million (38.33%) skyrocketing to a total of P490.08128496 million."

The complaint notes: "The case is a reflection of the ‘dagdag bawas’ notoriety of the Comelec similar to the counting of votes but with one main difference = in the costing of supplies involving over hundreds of millions of pesos.”

Magdamo was joined by Kaagapay ng Bayan Chairman Prefecto Bambi Santos, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chair Dante Jimenez and Gregorio Fabros as complainants in the case.

Brillantes dismissed the allegation, pointing out that none of the losing bidders are among the complainants.

"Everything is above board. [The bids and awards committee] was very strict in the implementation in the bidding. That's why it took time.”

He said he will not explain the alleged discrepancy because “there is none.”

Brillantes also questioned Magdamo's particpation.

"Palagay ko, wala siyang ginagawa. Di naman siya kasali … lahat sinasalihan may prino-protektahan ba na bidder na natalo?”