NEWS: SP commitee dismisses alleged Sportivo overpricing scam

“Nothing to whitewash”- BM Maligro
feb 17

The committee on good government of the Davao del Norte provincial board which earlier tackled on the allegation on overpricing on the last year’s acquisition of Sportivo and Navarra vehicles as spread by text messages from still unknown party has dismissed it as “mere speculation and hearsay/gossip”.
Boardmember Demetrio Maligro, who headed the committee, said in an interview minutes after the 12-man Sangguniang Panlalawigan adopted his committee’s report in a session yesterday afternoon, that “there is nothing to whitewash” saying that in the first place there was no complainant who came out to substantiate the allegation.
He added: “di maestablish kung tinoud ba ang complaint (we could not establish if the complaint is true”.
But, in separate interview, Boardmember Artemio San Juan said that while the allegation was dismissed at the committee level as the one who spread the text messages did not identify himself, but he speculated that the sending party might have just been afraid to come up for the possibility of being “fired out” from his employment from the Capitol.
“But that’s not the end of it,” he said when asked if the malicious text messages would then end.
The text messages tagged provincial administrator Rufo Peligro and general services officer Sammy Sanchez to be involved in the alleged overpricing of the vehcile transaction.
San Juan made a privilege speech last January 26 calling for legislative probe parallel to the reported inquiry-investigation pledged earlier by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario when he guested in the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo media forum mid January.
He was basing his call from two local dailies including Sidlak which bannered the story on the alleged Sportivo overpricing scam and alleged corruption at the Capitol in January 20.
San Juan’s call triggered referral to Maligro’s committee on good government, public ethics and accountability.
It turned out there was no investigation made at all on the allegation as Maligro’s commitee only made and subsequent “discussions and deliberations” in its February 3 closed-door meeting where the local media was reportedly barred from covering.
Yesterday, Maligro reported its findings based on that meeting dismissing the matter for having “no basis at all”.
“The complaint is anonymous and the issue being complained of is baseless considering no specific nor detailed complaint to substantiate all,” the report said.
The allegation also has “no specific reason…. (and) because of the simple fact that no course of action was identified/ presented by alleged complaint over SMS or text messages.”
“The issue at hand is not verifiable… and facts cannot be established or determined and that would be tantamount to speculations and mere hearsays/gossips,” it stated.
In January’s media forum guested by Gov. Del Rosario, he pledged he would conduct his own inquiry-probe on overpricing allegations spread by text messages that tagged his provincial administrator Rufo Peligro and general services department head Sammy Sanchez.
He dared the unknown senders to come out in the open and bring out evidences to their allegations even as he swore on the integrity of the bidding processes at the Capitol.
The governor also decribed the text messages in one angle as political intrigue intended to sow disunity among political leaders adding that it came with 2009 being a political year already.
At press time, it could not yet be determined if the governor has already his findings.
Earlier, Sanchez in an interview at his office branded the allegations as “basura (garbage)” and said that he and Peligro had agreed they would not respond to the text messages and instead dared senders to “go to proper forum as earlier said by the governor at the Kapihan”.
Meanwhile, Ms. Arcenia Sta. Lucia, the Commission on Audit (COA) audit team leader for the Davao del Norte provincial government, bared that in COA’s post-audit on the acquisition of Sportivo and Navarra vehicles was completed last week and found that the documents supporting the transaction to be “okey”.
She recalled that about June last year the provincial government purchased some 8 units of Sportivo vehicles for a price of about P1.2 million each, and some 4 units of Navarra 4×4 vehicles at about P1.5 million each.
Sta. Lucia said though that anyone can verify about the prices of the vehicles based “in other branches and other cities” to know if there was overpricing or not.
She said that the open bidding for the transaction was proper.
Other sources alleged that Sportivo cars can be acquired at less than P1 million only. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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