Comelec 'checks' concerns vs logistics firm linked to Davao tycoon

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2021 05:55 PM | Updated as of Aug 24 2021 05:04 PM

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas has ordered a panel to
Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas has ordered a panel to "check" the concerns raised against F2 Logistics after a watchdog said its links to Davao tycoon Dennis Uy was a "red flag." ABS-CBN/File

MANILA — (UPDATED) The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it was "checking" the concerns raised against a logistics company, whose owner is a perceived ally of the current administration.

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas said he has asked a panel to probe F2 Logistics—the lone firm qualified to deliver a crucial 2022 elections service—after a watchdog said its links to Davao tycoon Dennis Uy was a "red flag."

"Pinapa-check ko nga sa SBAC (special bids and awards committee)... Tingnan niyo yan kasi mainam na iklaro natin yan," Abas told a press conference.

F2 Logistics was earlier declared by Comelec SBAC as the "bidder with the lowest calculated bid" for a P1.61-billion contract to "deploy election equipment, peripherals, forms, supplies, paraphernalia and warehousing for the 2022 elections." 

Comelec said F2 will undergo a post-qualification process before it officially bags the contract. 

According to poll watchdog Kontra Daya, "awarding P1.61 billion to a publicly known Duterte crony is unacceptable, and making him responsible for an important election task is unconscionable."

Uy is the 4th largest campaign donor to President Rodrigo Duterte's 2016 presidential bid, contributing P30 million. 

However, Abas stressed that being a contributor to Duterte's campaign does not automatically make a firm "disqualified" from delivering the service. 

"Hindi naman automatic yan na dahil contributor sya ay disqualified na sya. Alam naman natin na karamihan ng mga negosyanteng malalaki nagko-contribute naman yan sa iba't ibang [candidates]... depende yan sa GPPB (Government Procurement Policy Board) policy sa post-qualification," Abas said.

While Uy has not publicly confirmed or denied his ownership of F2 Logistics, ABS-CBN News has obtained an annual report of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2020, where it listed F2 Logistics as a subsidiary of Udenna Management & Resources Corp., under the parent company Udenna Corporation in which Uy sits as chairman and president. 

A Wall Street Journal profile also listed Uy as chairman at F2 Logistics.