By Marisol Bo-oc | 04:39 PM March 18, 2021
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap denied on Thursday, March 18, allegations of graft filed against him and his provincial administrator before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The complainant, former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim, accused Yap and his provincial administrator Kathyrin Fe Pioquinto and other provincial officials for alleged anomalous transactions of overpriced and questionable purchases from suppliers with dubious financial, legal or technical credentials and track record.
“Wala pako kadawat ug wala pud ko kabasa sa ilang mga dokumento. Sa walay duda, kaya sa Bids and Awards Committee nga depensahan ang ilang mga aksyon sa bisan unsang imbestigasyon, apan seryoso ang akong pagtratar niini, tungod kay malisyoso kini ug walay basehan, ilabi na tungod kay, ila kining gibuhat samtang naningkamot ta nga mapanalipdan ang atong lalawigan sa batok sa pandemya,” Yap said in a recorded video on Facebook.
Yap said he does not intervene since all procurement done by the provincial government of Bohol goes through the bids and awards committee.
“Kabahin sa supplier nga maoy gipunto sa ilang reklamo, ni-agi kini ug proseso sa bidding ug maoy nisumite sa lowest competitive bids. Sa pagkatinuod, usa sa ilang alegasyon, ilang gi-alegar nga ang kagamhanang probinsyal sa Bohol nipalit ug ambulansya sa kantidad nga baynte milyones pesos. Dili na tinuod. Pito ka ambulansya ang atong gipalit ug dili lang usa kabuok,” he said.
He said the graft charges filed against him were to tarnish his reputation.
” Ang tinuoray nga intensyon sa ilang pagpasaka ug sumbong mao ang pagdaut ug paghugaw-hugaw sa atong reputasyon ug sa reputasyon sa mga myembro sa Bids and Awards Committee aron lang makapuntos ang mga gustong moatbang nako sa umaabot eleksyon. Mao ni ang subo nga realidad sa politika ubos sa atong demokrasya. Kadtong mga walay agi ug performance maghimo nalang ug mga kaso nga walay basehan aron himuong media propaganda aron lang modaug sa eleksyon. Dili man pud ta makurat nga si Atty. Dan Lim ang maoy nanguna sa pagsumbong tungod kay sukad pa saona, usa man siya sa atong mga kritiko ug parte sa oposisyon ug kaatbang nga grupo sa politika. Aron ingnon lang nga gusto nilang panalipdan ang maayong panggobyerno, kahibaw ko magsige gyud ni sila ug “pasaka ug sumbong” batok sa tanang gipamalit og mga programa sa kagamhanang probinsyal aron lang dauton ta ug tanan natong gipanghimo,” he said.
Lim said the provincial government entered into a service contract for the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2020, a virtual conference to promote tourism.
He alleged that the provincial government contracted PTM Disco Record Center for the rental of light and sound system for the PHITEX 2020 event held in Panglao, a resort island town in Bohol.
The event’s closing ceremony was held on Sept. 25, 2020, but the notice of award for the procurement was issued only on Dec. 18, 2020, which was three months after the said event had ended.
Lim added that Yap issued a notice of award to Dextel Trading for the purchase of mobile X-ray machines for a total of PHP22,788,000 or PHP3,798,000 per unit.
“However, upon checking with various suppliers, the cost of the unit of the same specification is only P950,000. In this case, there is overpricing of each unit in the amount of P2,848,000 or a total amount of P17,000,000,” the complaint read.
Lim’s complaint also alleged that on March 18, 2020, the provincial government of Bohol purchased “by way of negotiated sale” eight motorcycles from TWIS Trading in the amount of PHP718,000.
“It would appear that the purchase price of the motorcycle costs about PHP89,750. Upon verification, a Honda XRM 125 only costs about PHP55,000 for a brand new and PHP18,000 for second hand (units),” Lim’s complaint-affidavit read.
Lim noted an overprice of PHP34,750 per unit or a total of PHP278,000 for the entire transaction.
TWIS, which cornered multiple contracts worth more than PHP100 million, is said to be a single proprietorship holding office in a residential address with no website and no support hotline numbers.
The complaint added that motorcycles bought from TWIS, a company based in Cabuyao, Laguna despite the existence of suppliers in Bohol, which Lim said was “very illogical” as the said transactions entailed additional freight costs on top of the purchase price.
The former mayor said the address given by TWIS was a residential place, its phone is unattended, no office and no help desk support and showroom of its motorcycle business.
The provincial government of Bohol, he said, also awarded the second project to TWIS through the negotiated sale of a communication and security system worth PHP68,714,500 but such cost is “more than the regular and market prices”.
“Again, by way of negotiated sale, TWIS Trading was awarded the procurement of a Basic Life Support Ambulance in the amount of PHP20,993,000, one that should be scrutinized because a BASIC life support ambulance would not cost that price,” he said.